In my quest for those amazing fish and shrimp tacos Pepe used to shove down my throut by the dozen, I found him, and them, gone. So, a block up the street is Original Mike's, an old brick dealership converted into a restaurant that looks quaint and is obviously trying to prey on the arts district downtown.
They have a large outdoor area for people watching on the streets of Santa Ana, complete with palm trees shading the area. Quaint. They also had a band during the day... okay, this is good.
Inside is dark with woods and brick, very clean and nice, but we aren't here for ambience, my date thought she was going to be sitting on a curb eating a taco while sucking on a can of Tecate out of a brown paper sack. Nay, we are here in search of good grub, the kind that knocks your socks off and makes you warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
The menu reads like many unoriginal menus. Tater skins, chicken Caesar, jalepeno poppers, soutwestern chicken salad... nothing impressive here. I thought this was Original Mike's? Hey Mike, what happened to original?
I ordered the mahi mahi fish tacos and my date the southwestern chicken salad. Man, I shouldn't have ordered the tacos.
Shreded lettuce (not cabbage) topped an uneventful fish that was overcooked, dry and slapped into a store bought tortilla with a horible mayo drizzle (no hint of any lime). Come on, Mike, this is original? I can do far better at home with limited time. The "Spanish rice" was good for color but nothing else and the chips jammed into my abismal refried beans were stale.
Pepe, look what you are making me eat. If I ever find your taco truck again, why I'm gonna....
My date was great, but her food was something I should be able to get out of a Carl's Jr. drive thru window. Uninspiring, to say the least. She ate it and didn't complain, but since I promised her amazing tacos, a Tecate in a paper bag and a curb-side seat, she may not want to go out with me again after what I made her eat. We didn't even get a beer with lunch.
Oh Mike, you ain't so original.