Downtown Santa Ana businesses are always looking for ways to support our customers and our planet.
Recently, some of your favorite downtown restaurants started recycling and diverting food waste to help avoid decomposition in landfills, which leads to greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide polluting our air and causing climate change.
51% of the waste in California restaurants is food waste, which decomposes into methane, a gas that is more harmful for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. To help solve this problem, the City of Santa Ana is encouraging businesses to join the Santa Ana Recycle program. This is an effort to facilitate the transition to using recycle and organic containers to reduce the amount of landfill waste.
The guiding principles of this program were set forth by the State of California making recycling mandatory with Measure AB 341. This will require businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of waste per week to have a recycling service. The service can be a combination of reused, recycled or composted items and can be done by self-haul, subscribing to a hauler service, arranging a pickup of the recycled materials, or subscribing to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.
Businesses in Downtown Santa Ana are already joining the Santa Ana Recycle program:
Now it’s your turn! The City of Santa Ana Recycle program is currently working with different businesses in efforts to transition them towards this mandatory community change. To join the lead to recycle and sign up for the program call (714) 780-2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this training video to see how these businesses are Joining the Lead to Recycle!
Story by Abraham Gomez
Photos from the Santa Ana Recycles Video
Have you ever struggled to find a restaurant that you can take your young children to? Look no further! Downtown Santa Ana is the perfect place for all kinds of families! Whether you need a quick bite to eat in the afternoon, or you’re taking the family out for a weekend dinner, DTSA provides a family-friendly environment for everyone. We’ve compiled a list of great options so you can easily navigate DTSA. All of these restaurants are currently open for takeout, with adjusted hours of operation.
Starting at 4th Street Market, the local hub for foodies, there are so many places to bring young kids. Their patio has been newly renovated, providing a safe and clean place for families to enjoy some good food.
4th Street Market is home to Mar, a latin-asian fusion seafood restaurant. Mar offers items like Poke, ceviche, shrimp tacos for you to enjoy, as well as a rather broad kids menu. The kids menu includes popcorn shrimp, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, a cheese quesadilla, and a kids teriyaki bowl. All options except for the teriyaki bowl come with your choice of fries or tater tots. Mar will be sure to satisfy your seafood craving, as well as give children a wide variety of options they’ll love! Mar is the perfect place for any picky eater! Each meal ranges from $4 to $6. Check out their menu on their website.
Sandwich fans rejoice! Deli Station in 4th Street Market is also an excellent choice for families. Deli Station is home to classics such as the turkey club or the Cuban, as well as specialties such as the ribeye philly cheesesteak. The Kids menu consists of grilled cheese with fries and a grilled ham and cheese Sandwich. Special combos include half a sandwich with chicken noodle soup or salad and a drink. The kids meals are $5 and $6. Check our their menu on their website.
Burritos La Palmas
Burritos La Palmas is not new to Santa Ana, but they are brand new to 4th Street Market! Although they don’t have a specific kids menu, their menu offers items that are quite popular with children. It includes items such as cheese quesadillas and bean and cheese burritos. Burritos La Palma is known for the amazing quality they provide, which even kids can enjoy! Check out the menu here.
Outside of 4th Street Market, DTSA offers a wide variety of food. From Asian cuisine to Mexican cuisine, any family can find amazing spots to enjoy good food.
Las Casuelas serves delicious Mexican food and is a great place to bring the family! Not only do they have amazing food, they have Kids Meals that come with rice and beans or fries. Kids can choose carne asada, a cheese quesadilla, a bean and cheese burrito, chicken nuggets, or a cheeseburger! Find out more details here.
Jugos Acapulco is a popular Mexican spot with a great menu for all ages! Any picky eater can’t go wrong with their kids menu. It includes a ham and cheese sandwich or cheese quesadillas, paired with fresh fruit and a refreshing beverage. Their website has a full menu, including the options for kids!
Ramen Tokudai is a hot spot in Santa Ana, known for their delicious ramen. Their kids menu has a lot to offer! Kids have the option to choose ramen, beef gyudon, katsudon, chicken teriyaki, or karaage bowl. They also have boba drinks that are not caffeinated. The taro, coconut, and honeydew flavors are really popular with kids! The kids options are $7.50. Check out their menu here.
Downtown Santa Ana welcomes families to enjoy and experience all that the community has to offer. Finding a place that is kid-friendly is really easy to find, especially in a community that values family and good food!
Story by Breanna Policar
Editor's Note: After watching a recent Latino Urbanism webinar entitled "Plaza Talk: Race and Place,"our intern, Abraham Gomez shared his thoughts on the meaning of "The Plaza" in Latino culture, in his parent's hometowns and in his own experience growing up in Santa Ana.
El Granjenal is a little town in Michoacán where my mother’s story began. For as long as I can remember my family has returned to take part in this little town's December festivities. From the soccer tournament against the rival towns in La Plaza de Toros, to the nightly gatherings in a neighbor's front yard, the festivities are always centered around a space submerged with food, music, and people.
In El Granjenal, the space is not officially a plaza, it is just some benches, common space, and people enjoying each other’s company. The church’s plaza was where all traditional events were held, and its small “placita” was used more as a social gathering ground. Apart from the “typical” plaza experience, there is an “afterlife” where younger crowds gather around nightly fogatas and enjoy the booming Banda playing music around them.
Whereas, in my father’s hometown of Ocotlan, Jalisco, the plaza is the center of the town. This plaza is a place where you are likely to end up after a Saturday morning of shopping in the tiangis or a Sunday afternoon walk after picking up some ice cream. It is the place to be.
Though they are all very different, these spaces brought me joy and a sense of belonging. But it seems to me that the plaza in Ocotlan was built for the community, and in El Granjenal the sense of community was what made them plazas.
Clockwise: Church Plaza in El Granjenal (Fernando Lopez),
Plaza in Ocotlan (Abraham Gomez), Placita in El Granjenal (Jessica Lopez)
In Santa Ana, the plaza is everywhere: from the hot Saturday afternoons around my dad’s grill to the Easter Sunday gatherings at Mile Square Park. Each gathering has a different sense of the plaza in them. Decembers not spent in Mexico were spent in a local aunt’s house. Christmas and New Year’s gatherings were always spent with the people we love, like most people usually do. In addition to holidays together, we had a baseball game-on-Memorial-Day tradition. We would get together on a Memorial Day, when most of my family was off and go to Morrison Park, where people that lived in the neighborhood could join in on action. The “carne asadas” -- communal meat cook-outs -- that my dad would randomly suggest were spontaneous plazas for bonding with our neighbors. He would call our neighbor and it would sometimes turn in to a potluck dinner even though it was last minute. The afternoon would be spent updating on each other lives including the occasional neighborhood chisme. The times spent in these different places made up the plaza space that we were missing.
Fiesta Plaza, Downtown Santa Ana (2002)
photo from the Santa Ana History Room
Calle Cuatro Plaza, Downtown Santa Ana (2018)
photo from Santa Ana Business Council
"DTSA First Saturday Artwalk," Artists Village Promenade, Downtown Santa Ana (2016)
photo from Brian Feinzimer
"Dancing in the Streets," Spurgeon Paseo, Downtown Santa Ana (2020)
photo from Santa Ana Business Council
The plaza in a community is a place that has a multitude of meanings, in most Latin
American countries it signifies the physical center of the city or the central gathering point.
This “dynamic space” as Professor Setha Low of the City College of New York explains, is where the
culture of the community takes place. But what happens when the dynamic space of a plaza is
not an actual space? Is the community robbed of that plaza experience? Plaza Talk: Race and
Place reminded me that the plaza can be in any space, even when there may be a lack of space.
Story by Abrham Gomez
New, dispatches and updates from Downtown Santa Ana