Los Gallos Mexican Restaurant
1667 E. Orangethorpe Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870
For the three of you reading this that do not know me, I grew up in Yorba Linda, and my parents still live in the same house that I grew up in. When I was growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, there was not much in the way of restaurants in Yorba Linda. It always seemed like we were driving elsewhere whenever we went out. I remember when Chili's and Mimi's Cafe opened, across from each other on Imperial Highway, it seemed like we hit the culinary jackpot. The restaurant landscape in Yorba Linda has gotten better, but we are still driving out of the city limits to hit up some restaurants. When we were going to meet up with my parents before watching my niece Kaylie, the best cheerleader for the Yorba Linda Chargers, we headed just over the city line, to Los Gallos.
I'm not sure how long Los Gallos has been around, but I am pretty sure they were in business when I was in high school. Not to date myself, but that was over 25 years ago. Los Gallos is in a little sleepy strip mall, alongside the railroad tracks in the Atwood neighborhood of Placentia. The inside of the restaurant is deceptively bigger than it appears from the outside. Not a fancy restaurant, it appears unchanged since my last visit a number of years ago. It's dark, with comfy booths dotted with what appears to be many regular customers. We walked in close to 6PM, and were directed to a booth near the back of the restaurant. After perusing the menus, this is what we decided to order.
Right after we ordered, they brought over some Chips and Salsa. The chips here are pretty standard. They were not too greasy, and had a nice crispness to them. The salsa could have been a little hotter, and it was a little too watery for my taste. It did have a decent flavor to it, and I liked the large hunks of onion in it.
Katie always wants to try the guacamole at any Mexican restaurant that we eat at. This was the case at Los Gallos as well. The Guacamole ($2.50) was pretty reasonably priced. This guacamole had too many hunks of tomato added, and lacked flavor. It might have needed more salt, but the guacamole was definitely freshly made.
My Mom is not a real big eater, so she only had the Cheese Enchilada Combination ($4.25). This enchilada, and the entire plate were drenched with red sauce. The enchilada was full of cheese, and my Mom seemed pretty pleased with the rice and beans here.
My Dad was also feeling the combination vibe here, with his selection, the Beef Taco and Chile Relleno ($6.45). He was pretty impressed with his dinner. He liked the light and fluffy chile relleno that was only weighted down by the more than generous amount of cheese placed on top of it. Even with all the cheese, he could appreciate the nice sear on this. The shredded beef taco was fried crisp, and provided a boatload of flavor in his opinion.
There was really not too much diversity on this night, as Katie had the Cheese Enchilada and Chicken Taco ($6.25). Again, the plate was topped with a hefty amount of cheese and red sauce. Katie liked her plate here, and would probably get the same thing again. The chicken inside the taco was not too plentiful, but was tender. The cheese enchilada was pretty solid, and she really liked the refried beans
No combination dinner for me, although I am not against combination dinners. I usually judge Mexican restaurants more on if they can make a really good carnitas plate. The Carnitas ($8.50) are a little different here at Los Gallos than I am used to. They use their special sauce, which is a red sauce with this dish. A little different since I am just used to having the carnitas served plain, or if they do have a sauce, a verde sauce usually comes with the pork. The pork itself was pretty good here. I would have liked it fried a little more, to provide the crispiness that I really enjoy, but it was still good swine. The beans were better than the rice, but both were passable.
Los Gallos was just as I remembered it the last time I was here a good many years ago. The food, much like the decor of the restaurant is the same as it was back then. The food is not going to blow you away, but it is not bad at all. With prices like these, it is definitely worth your time if you are in the area to try Los Gallos. No combination plate even comes close to the double digit mark, which makes this place a bargain. The service on the night we were here was very solid. The wait staff seem to know many of their regulars, so it is a warm, and inviting atmosphere. A real locals place. A good place to meet up with my parents before going off to watch some Pop Warner football.
Out of five foghorns, (because the name of this restaurant translates to the roosters, and the most famous rooster I could think of was Foghorn Leghorn, of Looney Tunes fame), five being best to zero being worst, Los Gallos Mexican Restaurant gets 2.5 foghorns.
Los Gallos does not have a website, but you can find reviews and other info about them here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/los-gallos-placentia