.. restaurant review | 04.26.2010 ..

Mil Jugos | Santa Ana, CA | 04.26.2010

Esther and I spent the day in downtown Santa Ana today. We had a lot of fun chasing down a stray dog (video to come), eating some amazing arepas, and taking pictures (picture post forthcoming)!!

This is the second time I've been to Mil Jugos and it was just as amazing as the first visit. We started with the lentil soup with chicken and vegetables. This soup is rich and comforting. It's filled with tender pieces of shredded chicken, potatoes, corn, squash, carrots, and so much more! The lentils are perfectly cooked, not too mushy, but still soft and nutty. The soup is flavorful and rich!

Their specialty here are the arepas, of course. These little corn bread filled pockets are ridiculous. The bread is crispy on the outside and so soft and fluffy on the inside. It's perfect for soaking up all the succulent meat juices as well as their two awesome sauces on the side. We tried the Asado Arepa (filled with beef cooked in wine and brown sugar, seasoned with garlic, capers, and olives) and the Pabellon Arepa (filled with black beans, queso fresco, and beef cooked with garlic, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers). They were both piping hot when they came out and continued to retain their heat throughout the meal. The meat can be on the slightly salty side, but it's perfectly balanced with the more mild and sweet tasting arepa bread. The two condiment sauces are to die for. One sauce is an oil and chili pepper based sauce (super hot), and the other is a creamy cilantro and lime sauce. We seriously contemplated taking those squeeze bottles home with us. They were that good. Everything was just so flavorful and steaming hot, and I loved all the different textures and flavors dancing in my mouth.

I have to mention that the potato salad was really good, too! It's not the typical American potato salad, but actually reminded me of more of an Asian style potato salad. It was slightly sweet, nice and refreshing with the arepas, and there was plenty of chicken, potatoes, and carrots in there to keep us satisfied.

If you come here, you must also get a fruit smoothie with your meal. In addition to tasting fresh, and delicious, it also helps cool down your taste buds after having too much of the spicy green chili pepper sauce. I'm partial to the passion fruit smoothie, because it's both sweet and tart. Yum!!

I love this place, and the service is excellent. I believe it's a family owned restaurant, and there's this one older lady, in particular, who I'm very partial to. She has the sweetest face, and it seems as though feeding people is one of her greatest joys. She asked us today how we found out about Mil Jugos and we said, "Yelp, of course!" She laughed and said, "Oh right, my best friend."

Rating | O O O O o

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