Tuesday, April 6, 2010

4.1 AND 4.5.2010 - La Hacienda (Orick, CA)

Surprise yum. I couldn't care less if this place is a drug front or an elaborate way to launder money, but something weird is going on here. As far as I can tell the owners and employees all live in Eureka and commute the 45 miles north to Orick with a population of 487 (compared to the over 26,000 people in Eureka) to run a small Mexican restaurant. The town definitely gets a good amount of traffic as highway 101 runs through it, but then again, so does Eureka. Anyway, regardless of the "why?" aspect, the food is good. The three salsas served with the house-made chips (fried corn strips which are sprayed with a salty solution as soon as they are removed from the fryer so that the whole chip has a ton of flavor) are all made fresh everyday and are excellent.

The first time I went, I ordered the carnitas sopes. The carnitas is, as my friend Jamey says, by far the best around. It is crispy yet succulent, sweet yet tangy, and delicious. The base of the sopes- a griddle cooked corn cake slightly thicker than a tortilla- is also house-made and the freshness is apparent. Beans are smeared atop the corn cake and topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. Really good.

The second time (a mere four days after the first time), I ordered the pollo asado taco salad. Served in a crispy fried tortilla shell, the taco salad was served with a hefty portion of chicken, rice, whole beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and sour cream. The pollo asado - BBQ chicken - was cooked perfectly and had good flavor, but in my opinion was too bbq-saucy. I am now very interested in trying the pollo a la plancha- grilled chicken- but it may be tough to order anything but the carnitas

La Hacienda
121137 Hwy 101
Orick, CA 95555

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