Orange: Carnitas Los Reyes

Carnitas Los Reyes is located at 273 S Tustin Street in Orange, California.  It is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall, mom and pop restaurant, at the end of a congested strip mall hidden behind an Arco gas station.  Inside has about 9 tables, and usually a line out the door for lunch.

The place is cash only, and there’s an ATM on premise if you forget, or don’t have enough.  Quite honestly, the place is dirt cheap.  Two tacos ($1.50 each) and a large agua fresca or soft drink ($1.45) will cost you less than $5 and you will leave quite full. Oh, and there’s no refills on any drinks, even the sodas.

With the store name being called “Carnitas Los Reyes”, chances are the carnitas should be good.  My usual order is 2 carnitas tacos and a drink..  I’ve taken food to go, and have dined in store, and have never been disappointed.  In addition, regardless if you dine in or take food to go, you will receive complimentary chips, salsa, pickled carrots and jalapenos.

While I tend to stick to the carnitas, I have tried the Menudo, which is offered only on weekends, until they run out, which they often do before noon. In my last visit, I was lucky enough to get a bowl and it was a generous bowl for $6.00.  The bowl was pure meat, no fillers like hominy, had good flavor.  The restaurant also provided a condiment rack with limes, fresh cilantro, dried oregano, dried chilies to enhance your Menudo.

Stephen has tried the chorizo (sausage), chicken and carne asada (chopped steak) tacos.  He agrees the carnitas is still the best, but he really likes the spiciness and flavor of the chorizo. 

The restaurant is located near the 22 freeway, and parking can be difficult, as the lot is congested and narrow.  There’s no best time to dine, as the crowd can show up at any time. However, a good back up plan is to assume that you will take your food to go, or be patient and wait for one of the scarce tables.

The carnitas tacos

Carnitas Los Reyes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato