From happy hour appetizers to shared meals, nachos are a pretty versatile dish. It is also something that can be made with a wide variety of recipes. From the standard recipes to wontons with raw ahi to Irish nachos topped with bacon, here are some of the best places in the county to get your nacho fix.
640 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
If you are looking for selection in nachos, Taco Loco is the place to go. It has the standard beef, chicken and pork, but it also carries mushroom, tofu, blackened fish (pictured) and calamari. You don’t have to worry about getting way more than you need here. Half orders of nachos are available in case you want enough just for you. The prices here are very affordable. You can get a half order of nachos and a good beer for $10.
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
It is not surprising that you can find good nachos near a college campus. That being said, Albertaco’s is a real easy place to miss unless you know the area around Saddleback College. Albertaco’s only has one kind of nachos (carne asada), but they are good. It comes with sour cream and guacamole and a good amount of meat. You won’t feel like you’ve been cheated or have to dig to find the carne asada — this spot gives you enough meat that you won’t have any complaints. Albertaco’s serves up a pretty good portion, so you probably want to share these with someone.
209 1/2 Palm St.
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Nachos are a great food item even if they are on the unhealthy side. It is nice to encounter some nachos that are something more than the standard chips, cheese, meat and toppings. That is where Ohana House comes in. Ohana’s nachos are not tortilla chips but wonton chips. Oh, and the meat is a little more exotic than carne asada or chicken. These nachos are topped with raw ahi and a host of other condiments, including wasabi aioli. Sure, the nachos are a little more expensive, but you can’t get ahi nachos just anywhere.
Patsy’s Irish Pub
28971 Golden Lantern, Suite 108
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
If you’re looking for something other than tortilla chips for your nachos, Patsy’s is the place to go. The nachos here consist of house-made potato chips topped with bacon, green onions, cheese and tomatoes, and served with sour cream. Let’s face it, if anything can make nachos even better than normal, it’s bacon. It is as good as it sounds and the generous portion makes it something you can (and probably should) share.
El Toro Bravo
745 W 19th St., Suite G
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
The thing that really makes nachos is the chips. Subpar chips can be dressed up with a lot of different ingredients, but nachos are so much easier to enjoy if the chips are really good. And if you want good chips, you have to start with good tortillas. Well, you’re not likely to find better tortillas than at a tortilleria like El Toro Bravo. The delicious chips here are topped with cheese and carne asada so you’ll enjoy every bite of the nachos.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.