Army Vet Turned Chef Helms OC’s Newest Mexican Restaurant


OC’s newest Mexican restaurant has opened its doors at the Villa del Sol in historic downtown Fullerton. Hidalgo’s Cocina & Cocteles offers lunch and dinner menus featuring sophisticated takes on classic south-of-the-border staples. Crafted by Army veteran and Executive Chef Scott Rosales, the “cocina” (kitchen)’s menu offers such standouts as Albondigas con Adobo, Short Rib Barbacoa & Goat Cheese Enchiladas, Cochinitas Pibil, and Grilled Salmon Veracruz. Among the weekend brunch items are Huevos en el Purgatorio and Chilaquiles. Brothers Antonio and Chelo Muñoz, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico 20 years ago, are the chefs de cuisine and expertly prepare the items each day.

Hidalgo’s bar program, overseen by noted spirits guru Dustin Adams,  features a wide range of “cocteles” (cocktails), many tequila or mezcal based.  All ingredients utilized in the cocktails are fresh and everything is made in-house including the famed white and red sangrias.  Highlights include the Pulparino made with tamarind, lime, mole, orange Curacao and Reposado tequila, and the Head Ancho containing fresh pineapple, lime, ancho chili, habanero and Blanco tequila.  A number of craft beers, many from Mexico, and fine wines round out the menu.

Guests visiting the 150 seat establishment are welcomed indoors, or can enjoy one of two of the restaurant’s garden areas.

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