Cupid descended on Downtown Santa Ana and spread the spirit of love around the city. Check out all the exciting deals, promotions and events for you and your betrothed to bask in downtown!
Munchies Diner - McFadden Public Market
Heart-shaped chicken nuggets (vegan)
Mission control/Twisted Tiki
Mission control - free roses for the ladies and couples raffle- drink @ shot specials
Twisted tiki - $2 off all signature drinks
Buqqa Gourmet - 4th St Market - McFadden Public Market
Portola Coffee - 4th St Market
Rose Caradamom Lattes!
Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar
V-Day Prix Fixe Dinner
La Vegana Mexicana - 4th St Market
Pink masa cheese and jalapeño vegan tamales
Steel Pan Pizza - 4th St Market
"Sweet for your Sweet"
Free dessert with the purchase of two pizzas
Naughty Panda - 4th St Market
Special "Naughty" Handroll
Buy 1 intro offer and get the second one 50% off so you can train with your Valentine
Buy any supplement item and get the other for 50% off
5 & 10 packs of Personal Training and Group classes are 14% off
Buy 2 Myzone Heart Rate monitor belts and get $10 off
Use Feb14 as promo code to get discounts -- offers good until 2/14/20
Rose latte and Lavender latte throughout February.
Black Market Bakery
Buy 1 tart, get 1 free. Now through February 1-14th.
Special menu for the night and will be taking reservations for couples
Valentine's Weekend at Chapter One
Thursday-Sunday, February 13th-16th
Join Us For A Special Valentine's Weekend Food & Cocktail Menu!
Champagne and Rose Petal-flavored, heart=shaped conchas are available through February 14th.
Preorder is available online through the 13th.
Special prix fixe dinner menu for couples and live music.
Chevita’s Juice and Bagels
Special new sandwich called "Sausage Bagel Melts."
4 course meal special for the 14th.
Photos: Aaron Alvarez
Cupid cosutme and actor: Vic Carmona
Special Thanks: Breanna Policar
Concept: Ryan Smolar
Downtown Santa Ana would like to welcome the newest pet store, Furr Friends! Established in November of 2019, Furr Friends caters to Santa Ana’s cat and dog lovers who want the highest quality products for their pets. The owners, Omar and Andrew, are very knowledgeable in pet care and only supply the store with locally sourced products that are healthy and regulated. At Furr Friends, you can find baked treats, healthy pet foods, toys, and other pet care items that you can’t find anywhere else.
Their food sources are reliable and regulated, which is not common for chain stores. You can find top customer service here if you need to know more about how to take care of your furry friend. They are always willing to help anyone who wants to provide their pets with the proper nutrition and care. Furr Friends are strong advocates for the health of animals, as well as bringing the community together.
They are currently working with other partners to create a dog park for Downtown Santa Ana, in hopes to provide the community with a safe space for four legged friends. They hope to expand their services to include grooming, educational events, and their own brand of affordable treats in the near future. Grooming will also be available in March 2020. All furry friends are welcome to visit this store!
DTSA is shining a light for the first time on Orange County’s treasure-trove of historic buildings from the 1910’s-1930’s this holiday season
OC’s finest collection of Art Deco/Moderne, Beaux Arts, Neoclassical and California Churrigueresque-style buildings will be lustrously lit each Saturday this December in the historic commercial heart of Orange County.
Kicking-off at the December 7th DTSA Artwalk, the jaw-dropping architecture of Downtown Santa Ana will be on-display in the nighttime like never before. Starting with four of DTSA’s best-known landmarks, local leaders hope the temporary illumination will spark the imagination of owners and the City to shine light on the finest historic edifices in OC for all to see.
The Spurgeon “Clock Tower” Building - Neoclassical (4th/Sycamore)
Envisioned by the founder of Orange County and first Mayor of Santa Ana, the Spurgeon Building was the birthplace of OC commerce and remains a touting symbol of the City of Santa Ana. It’s glorious clocktower was restored in the 1990’s through the efforts of self-proclaimed bon-vivant and historian, Tim Rush, and the building was purchased in 2018 by Jeff Smith and Scott Ostlund (of Sunset Beach Water Tower fame), who re-invigorated the building’s interiors, further restored the clocktower and filled the building to the brim with new tenants without displacing long-term users.
First National Bank Building - Beaux Arts (4th/Main)
OC’s first “high rise” steel-frame constructed building was designed by John Parkinson, famed architect behind Los Angeles City Hall, Union Station, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the gorgeous Bullocks Wilshire Building. Husband-and-wife owners Kim and Ted Tapfer have lovingly restored the building and filled it with creative firms and ground-floor retail, though creative office space and the incredible, subterranean bank vault are still seeking perfect tenants for one of OC’s coolest historic locations. Contact Kim and Ted at (714) 565-8000 or visit the web site at 106WestDTSA.com.
Santora Building - California Churrigueresque (2nd/Broadway)
A portmanteau of the words “Santa Ana” and “Orange,” the Santora building is a rare and jaw-dropping “ultra gothic” example of California Churrigueresque architecture reminiscent of 17th century Madrid. This stunning anchor of the DTSA Artists Village is home to a mix of artists studios, creative offices and favorite neighborhood haunts like Blackmarket Bakery DTSA, Lola Gaspar and Congregation Alehouse. Owner Jack Jakosky is passionate about creating spaces for artists to work and thrive as he is also the brains behind a nearby industrial arts complex, the Logan Creative, at a defunct metalworks ladder factory.
Old City Hall - Art Deco/Moderne (3rd/Main)
Constructed with a $126,000 Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant, this Assyrian warrior-clad Moderne gem was the precious seat of Santa Ana’s municipal government from the 1930’s to the 1980’s and was ultimately evacuated by its final City employee in 1999. Designed by famed Long Beach architect, W. Horace Austin, Old City Hall’s sister buildings in the “LBC” include the Masonic Temple (now lofts) and the Long Beach Airport terminal. Austin also designed Santa Ana’s Masonic Temple and the Bowers Museum. In 2000, Old City Hall’s interior was stripped-down and converted into a raw, industrial, open floor plan creative space: a design that earned it praise and recognition from the American Institute of Architects/Orange County, as well being awarded the Best Commercial Rehab Project in the 14 Western States and Pacific Rim Countries. Formerly home to OC’s biggest independent advertising agency, the 1935 historic office with modern, exposed interiors is currently seeking new tenants for its 36,000 sq feet which is available through listing agent CBRE at (714-371-9333).
The historic holiday lights program was initiated by Downtown Inc’s Placemaker, Ryan Smolar, and co-sponsored by 4th Street Market and the owners of Old City Hall, the First National Bank Building, Santora Building and the Spurgeon Building. Lighting Design by Deryk Dustin.
Visit the buildings any Saturday in December from 6pm-10pm. 2 Hour Free Parking is available at City parking structures at 5th/Spurgeon, 5th/Main, 3rd/Broadway, 3rd/Birch.
Savor Santa Ana returns this Saturday on October 12th with an amazing fall carnival theme. This year’s restaurant participants include many fan favorites and some new and exciting additions to DTSA. Take a look at what delicious items you can find at this year’s Savor Santa Ana!
Blackmarket Bakery– Seasonal Bread Pudding, Golden Child (GF Cake), Vegan Sprinkle Cookie
Chapter One: the modern local – Bacon wraps and C1 Punch
Chevitas Juice and Bagels- Sopes/Picadas- Chorizo, Chicken w/Potato, Sour Cream w/Queso Fresco
Congregation Alehouse – Cajun Style Sliders
Eat Chow– 5 Cheese Mac & Cheese and Turkey Chili
El Indio– Tacos (Chicken Tinga, Chicken Mole, Beef Barbacoa, Chicharron en Salsa Verde, Chorizo con papa)
El Mercado– Open Face Chicken Mole Sliders- Mary’s Chicken, House Mole, Wild Arugula, Cotija Cheese, Pickled Onions, Artisanal Roll.
Frida Cinema– Small drink and popcorn
Good Beer– Pint of IPA & Pint of Sour
The Den Café– Elote Mac & Cheese (Vegan) and Sangria
Kaizen Shabu- Ceviche- Made with shrimp, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers and homemade chips
Kebab Place– Platter of Organic Chicken Kebab, Gyros, Falafel, and Basmati Rice
La Michoacana- TBD
Las Cazuelas - Chicken Flautas
Lola Gaspar– Esquites
McDonalds – New Spicy Glazed Chicken Tenders
Mission Bar– Beer Sample
Mix Mix– Chorizo & Potato Croquettes
Native Son– Arancini
Next Round– Mole Tots and Poke
Pizza Press– The Sun Pizza, The Vegetable Pizza, The Herald
Taquerias Guadalajara – Shrimp Ceviche with Mango
The Copper Door– Burbon Pumpkin Smash and Apple Pumpkin Beer
Velvet Lounge– Butternut Squash Soup, Funnel Cake, and Fried Chicken Siders
Wursthaus – Mini Drunken Fries and Smoked Brat
Alta Baha– Mini Miche “La Bruja” and Frito Pie
Chunk N Chip– Sammich Sampler
FAKA’s Island Grill– Katsu Slider
La Vegana Mexicana– Mini Pambazo
Miel – Agua Frescas
Portola Coffee Lab– Iced Rose and Cardamom, Nitro, Alchemistic
Mar – Ahi Poke Sample
Deli Station – BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
Dos Chinos– Crispy Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Taco
McFadden Public Market
Mission Control Bar– Mana Potion
Munchies Vegan Diner– “Nozzarella” Stick with Marinara Sauce
Twisted Tiki– Luau Punch
Wings & Bowls– Korean Chicken Wings and Kalbi Nachos
Three Pugs Bakery@ 4THStreet Market - Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart w/Sweet Potato Ice Cream & Salted Butterscotch and Smoked Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Gus’s Fried Chicken@ Fleenor's on 4th – Fried Chicken
Northgate – Tamales and Champurado
Savor Santa Ana Tickets are $10 each and come with 5 tasting tickets. You can buy your tickets at the event (Cash Only) or you can pre order your tickets at http://www.savorsantaana.com.
Orange County’s premier all-ages food festival Savor Santa Ana returns Saturday, October 12th from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Guests will have the opportunity to sample unique and tasty dishes from over 40 of Downtown Santa Ana’s local restaurants and bars and experience exciting entertainment with this year’s fall carnival theme.
This marks the seventh Savor Santa Ana festival for Downtown Santa Ana, which celebrated the city’s 150th birthday earlier this year. A trolley will provide free rides around DTSA making it easy for guests to access all the Savor participants, which include DTSA’s two food courts Mcfadden and 4th Street Market, The Den, The Good Beer Company, Chapter One, Pizza Press and much more.
DTSA’s side-walks will come to life with this year’s entertainment. Live performances will cover every street of the festival. Guests can enjoy various types of live music from the techno sounds of DJ Deitii to acoustic performances. One performance you won’t want to miss will be fire dancers Joshua Medina and Rose Wright. Their spectacular act will light up the night sky and emphasize this year’s fall carnival theme.
Savor Santa Ana is an opportunity for restaurants to share their most popular dishes or create seasonal options catered to the theme and event. Next Round Bar & Grill will be serving up delicious Molè Tots, which is a bed of crunchy tater tots topped with shredded chicken with molè sauce, cilantro, and queso fresco.
For all you Mac N Cheese lovers, Savor will feature two unique options. The Den is offering a vegan-option with their Elote Mac N Cheese. This dish replaces the dairy ingredients with vegan mayo and cashew cheese. The Den will also be offering a refreshing Sangria. Eat Chow will offer a five-cheese Mac and Cheese to their guest and delicious turkey chili.
For our Savor guests who are 21+ make sure you head over to Mcfadden Public Market for some refreshing libations. The Twisted Tiki will serve up their Luau punch and Mission Control will offer their Mana Potion. While you’re there, stop by Wings and Bowls for some Korean BBQ wings and kalbi nachos.
Savor Santa Ana tickets are just $10 and include 5 tasting tickets. Tickets are available online for pre-purchase at savorsantaana.com, and are available cash-only at the event.
Article by: Jennifer Morones
Photos by: Scott Levy
Downtown Santa Ana is home to many unique bars which bring crowds of people during the weekends. The Twisted Tiki opened at McFadden Public Market back in May of this year and has quickly gained a massive following. Their island vibes and deliciously crafted drinks make this the perfect place to escape the at times hectic weekend environment.
Mana is the visionary behind the Twisted Tiki. A native Hawaiian, Mana was determined to bring a little piece of paradise to Orange County. “I want it to feel like you are back home with me in Hawaii. I want the vibe to be chill and relaxed.”
Once you enter the bar you are instantly transported to another place. The venue is very intimate with ukulele music playing in the background and a live stream of a Hawaiian beach playing on the TV making it the perfect atmosphere to sit back, relax, and enjoy a drink.
The Purple Polynesian Sunset is one of Twisted Tiki’s signature cocktails and their number one bestseller. Mana named it after the purple sunsets of the Hawaiian Islands. If you come at the right time you can see it for yourself on their live stream. This purple pina colada is a smooth and creamy cocktail that is garnished with a made-to-order caramelized pineapple slice. There is a reason why this drink is their best seller, it is simply delicious.
The Lua Punch is another one of the Twisted Tiki’s signature cocktails. This drink has Malibu Run, Captain Morgan dark rum, and a mix of tropical juices and bitters. The Lua punch can be purchased as a single cocktail or served in a half shell for two-four people to share.
The Twisted Tiki created fun names for all their signature drinks like the humuhumunukunukuapua'a, a tequila based drink named after the state fish of Hawaii. The King Kamehameha pays homage to the great first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The drink is made with ghost pepper syrup and packs a powerful punch.
Twisted Tiki is also serving the classics like Mai Tais, Daiquiris, and Painkillers. When it comes to crafting cocktails, Mana strives to create well-balanced drinks that everyone can enjoy. His philosophy on cocktails works. The ingredients of the beverages are perfect blends of alcohol, spices, and tropical flavors, leaving you satisfied and wanting more.
To ensure that everyone gets a chance to visit paradise the Twisted Tiki has a time limit of 1 hour per visit. This policy is played out only when there is a wait. Coming in on a weekday will probably guarantee you some more time in this tropical oasis.
Mana is already planning on expanding the Twisted Tiki to an outdoor lounge. His concept is to have outdoor seating where customers can take their drinks and feel like they are in someones backyard in Hawaii.
Mana credits the success of the Tiki bar to having a menu of well balanced and delicious drinks that are made by amazing people. The Twisted Tiki is open Tuesday - Thursday from 5 pm - 10 pm and Friday - Saturday from 5 pm - 1 pm.
Make it a hop: Enjoy a downtown tropical trist by starting at Twisted Tiki, then sailing over to Vacation Bar, Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar and Irenia for a full trek of tropical high-end drinks.
Article by Jennifer Morones
Photos provided by Twisted Tiki, Jennifer Morones and Arlene Viveros
Vegan cuisine is sweeping the nation with many restaurants creating unique dishes to appeal to their vegan customers. Downtown Santa Ana is home to some amazing vegan restaurants and vegan options, so we decided to highlight some of our favorite dishes!
1. Vegan Pozole at Alta Baja.
Alta Baja carries a selection of vegan dishes on their menu daily, but we wanted to highlight the Green Vegan Pozole. This dish is so good it was featured in The New Yorker. The green pozole is made with squash, beans, and hominy in a delicious green chili sauce and served with all the fixings. This dish is only served every last Sunday of the month and is known to sell out so make sure to get to Alta Baja early and get your hands on a warm savory bowl of Vegan Green Pozole.
2. Hummus Sandwich at Black Market Bakery
This sandwich is so fresh Black Market Bakery has dubbed it “The Fresh Air.” Don’t let the name fool you, this sandwich is packed with flavor and will leave you feeling satisfied. It is made with hummus, avocado, Roma tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, arugula, lemon vinaigrette on toasted lemon rosemary bread. Black Market Bakery also has a selection of vegan desserts like sprinkle cookies, hand-pulled brittle, and seasonal pies!
3. Vegan ice cream sandwich at Chunk-N-Chip
Ice cream lovers can thank Chunk-N-Chip for this tasty vegan dessert. With seasonal flavors like vegan Thai tea and vegan dragon fruit and strawberries, customers always have something new to look forward too. They also have a gluten-free and vegan chocolate chip cookie so everyone can enjoy their famous ice cream “sammich.” Two vegan cookies are oven warmed to gooey perfection holding your choice of ice cream creating dessert heaven.
4. Vegan Ceviche at La Vegana Mexicana
La Vegana Mexicana is a family-owned and operated vegan eatery created by chef and owner Loreta Ruiz. Ruiz started experimenting with plant-based Mexican recipes after her daughter converted to veganism. Her take on “ceviche” is made with chopped cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro, served over a crunchy corn tostada and drizzled with lime and hot sauce. Healthy and delicious. La Vegana Mexicana is also known for their vegan tamales so be sure to grab some while you are there!
Vegan Breakfast Burrito at The Den
The Den, formerly known as The Gypsy Den, has a wide selection of vegan dishes. They are a trendy spot for brunching a-la vegan. Their Saucy Vegan Breakfast Burrito is a fan favorite. The burrito is loaded with vegan chipotle chicken, turmeric rice, tofu scramble, beans, roasted red peppers, and chipotle aioli. The burrito is then smothered with green or red enchilada sauce and served with your choice of fresh fruit, house potatoes, or balsamic dressed salad. Is it big enough to share but this burrito is so good we wouldn’t.
6. Vegan sausages at Wursthaus
Craving handmade sausages and German and Polish Beer? Wursthaus is the gastropub to deliver such items. With their vegan sausages, veggie eaters can too enjoy a frankfurter and beer. Their vegan sausage options include Smoked Apple and Sage, Mexican Chipotle and the Italian. The sausages are topped with grilled onions and pepper and stuffed into a toasted bun. This is the perfect watering hole suitable for all eaters.
7. Western Bacon Shroom Burger at Munchies Diner
Munchies Diner is the newest vegan eatery to join Downtown Santa Ana. They have taken your traditional diner favorites, like buttery pancakes and tuna melts, and made them vegan approved. There are so many amazing dishes to try but the fan favorite is their Western Bacon Shroom Burger. This burger contains bacon, a beef patty, melted provolone, beer-battered organic mushroom, BBQ sauce, garlic aioli, and organic house cheese sauce. You would never be able to guess this burger is 100% plant-based. All burgers and sandwiches come with a side of fries and for $5 more you can upgrade to their Human-Style Fries. Their take on “Animal Style Fries.”
8. Beyond Bulgogi Wraps at Next Round
It is great to see how many restaurants are catering to the vegan diet and bars are quickly following suit. Next Round Bar & Grill has an amazing vegan appetizer on their menu called Beyond Bulgogi Wraps. This dish is made with beyond meat sautéed in a bulgogi glaze and served on top of butter lettuce then topped with pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeños, and sesame seeds. Come during happy hour Monday – Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm to get $4-$5 draft beers and 25% off your vegan appetizer.
9. Vegan Michelada at Mission Bar
Micheladas are a popular spicy Mexican cocktail made with Mexican beer and a tomato mix called clamato which, you guessed it, contains clam juice. This makes most Micheladas non vegan. Luckily Mission bar has a vegan Michelada mix to craft this popular drink. Enjoy your Vegan Michelada with a chamoy, lime and tajin rim that adds the perfect kick and tang to your drink.
Video Roundup of the 9 Tasty Vegan Dishes
Video by Hector Gomez
Video and Article by Jennifer Morones
The Santa Ana Breakfast Club invites all attendees of Santa Ana’s 150th Birthday Street Breakfast to participate in a decade themed costume contest. Guest can enjoy food and live entertainment all while dressing up in their favorite current or vintage fashions. The Historical Decades Costume Contest will showcase costumes from any historical decade starting with the founding of the City of Santa Ana in 1869 through 2019. That is 15 decades of fashion inspiration to choose from!
Dylan Almendral, @fugitivevestige, a Santa Ana native and historian, enjoys dressing up in vintage attire and gave us some pointers on how to easily assemble a swanky outfit.
For men, he suggests starting with a pair of slacks or jeans and a button-down collar shirt. With these base items, you can now add layers to take your look back in time. For a more Victorian look of the late 1800s, add a coat, bow-tie and top hat to your slacks and button-down. If you’re looking for a 1910’s – 1920’s style, simply add a vest and a newsboy cap. For a classic Pachuco/Pachuca look, adding a feathered fedora and suspenders to your base items will create that iconic 1940’s Chicano style.
For women, Dylan recommends a day dress as a base for the costume and using the accessories and hair to create the decade look. Pay special attention to such aspects as period-specific looks and accurate details to wow the judges. YouTube supplies many vintage makeup and hair tutorials like 1940’s liberty rolls and 1950’s pompadours. A short-sleeve button-down shirt paired with slacks or a pencil skirt also makes a great base. This is a perfect time to recreate your favorite iconic movie character! Add a jeweled head ban and a faux fur coat to play homage to Daisy from The Great Gatsby or rock a matching plaid ensemble to recreate the icon 90’s Cher look from Clueless.
The ’80s and ’90s have recently made a comeback and your favorite retail stores will more than likely carry items inspired by these decades. For great vintage finds you can check out Elsewhere Vintage and Joyride: Vintage for Men located in Old Town Orange. Your local Goodwill and thrift stores can be a jackpot for all kinds of decade pieces and don’t forget to raid your older family member’s closets. Most importantly pick a period that shows off your style and have fun!
Whether you are participating in the contest or just dressing up for fun stay till the end of the event to help us recreate the famous first Santa Ana street breakfast group photo.
For more information about the costume contest and to register, follow the link below.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photos provided by Dylan M Almendral, Brian Feinzimer
Congregation Ale House opened its first chapter back in 2010 in Long Beach and has since grown to three Los Angeles County chapters and finally, their first Orange County chapter here at DTSA.
It has taken over the location at the historic Santora Arts Building on the corner of Broadway and 2nd St. Congregation offers an impressive variety of your favorite German beers as well as local craft beers on draft and in bottles. Congregations’ house ales are given clever names like the farmhouse style ale Praise on Saison and the hazy IPA with fermented mango called A Hazing Grace.
The food served at Congregation is more than your standard pub snacks. My philosophy when venturing to new food destinations is to try their most basic dish. If they can get that right, then that guarantees their other dishes will likely be phenomenal. With this in mind, I ordered the pretzel to go along with my beer. This pretzel was soft, chewy and came with an IPA cheddar sauce. After tasting this sauce, I never want to eat cheese sauce that is not made with IPA.
Once my friends and I tasted the sauce, we knew we needed more so we tried the Rapture Tots that include IPA cheddar, jalapenos, sour cream, and bacon (we got it on the side for our veggie friend). Again, tots will never be the same without sitting on a bed of IPA Cheddar sauce.
Getting thirsty? It’s hard not to be seduced into drinking a cold glass of Praise On Saison, but I went with one of their guest taps, 21st Hell or High Watermelon. The beer was crisp and refreshing with a hint of sweetness. If beer is not your drink of choice, there are plenty of cocktails to quench thy thirst. The Grapefruit Gimlet is made with Tito’s Vodka, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and agave nectar. The color was a beautiful peach and at $10 is packed with enough vodka to get the blood pumping. The Santa Margarita is made with Patron Silver and was equally as refreshing.
Back to the grub, their Portobello pesto pizza was a cheesy garlic masterpiece topped with a refreshing mixed green salad. The menu options at Congregations are plenty. A variety of pizzas, burgers, sausages, tacos, salads, and more where displayed on their digital menu. This makes it a great place for gatherings with their variation of food choices.
The name Congregation suits this establishment not just for their ironic Catholic church décor and witty drink names. It really is a great place to gather and feel inspired. The bar is spacious and holds weekly trivia nights on Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm. You can also look forward to a DJ playing every Sunday afternoon. Congregation is also the host of unique monthly events which you can check out online on their event calendar at congregationalehouse.com.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photo by Andi Martinez
Buqqa is the newest eatery to open at Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market, offering a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish delights. Buqqa got its start as a food truck circulating the music festival scene feeding hungry ravers and festival goers all around California. They have since grown to three food trucks and its first on-site location at 4th Street Market.
Tony Elmas, the visionary behind Buqqa, created a unique culinary experience with a modern take on traditional Mediterranean food. Their foods are delicious and 100% Halal (think Kosher for Islam). The finest quality of meats and ingredients are used in their recipes. Tony only allows 100% natural products and is very strict on quality control at all his eateries.
Buqqa offers all your Mediterranean favorites like kebabs, falafels, and gyros. If you are looking for something a little more elevated than your standard gyro, the beef and lamb doner on ciabatta bread is sure to satisfy any foodie. The chef special fries are also loaded with beef and lamb doner creating a Mediterranean take on carne asada fries.
You can also customize a rice plate with your favorite meats and side dishes. Their meatballs, which look more like meat sticks, are perfectly paired with Mediterranean rice and a side salad. Don’t forget to sauce up your food with spicy garlic, ajvar (roasted red pepper and eggplant puree) or tzatziki.
At Buqqa, the menu is prepared fresh daily with locally sourced meats that are seasoned with traditional hand prepared Mediterranean spice blends. All spices are imported from Italy and Turkey. Even the pistachios used in their incredibly delicious baklava are imported from Turkey. Their daily specials also highlight seasonal ingredients.
Ok, now back to the baklava. This homemade sweet and texturally satisfying dessert is the perfect ending to an incredible meal at Buqqa. It tastes like someone's Greek grandmother made it and paired with a cup of Turkish coffee, is a dessert paradise.
Tony’s favorite dishes are the Alexander kebab, beef and lamb rice plate, and the chicken kebab. Buqqa is on the fast track to becoming a successful restaurant chain with two more restaurant locations scheduled to open this year in Riverside and Costa Mesa. For more on Buqqa, visit their website at Buqqa.com and make sure to check out their Instagram @Buqqafood.
Story by Jennifer Morones
Photos by Jennifer Morones and Andi Martinez