Tortilla Republic offers inventive “farm to fork” Mexican fare in Laguna Beach, CA

Tortilla Republic opened its third location in Laguna Beach, CA over the summer. With locations in West Hollywood and Koloa on the island of Kauai, Laguna Beach seemed to be a fitting addition. The food is Mexican in origin but uses worldly flavors and techniques to make it just a little different. Each location uses natural meats and organic and locally grown produce. The Laguna Beach location is on Coast Highway with the Pacific Ocean glimmering on the other side. The interior has a beach, yet Hispanic feel to it with natural and organic tones throughout.

Let’s take a look at their brunch menu:

Sweet Chili Margarita is Cazadores Resposado, fresh agave lime sweet, passion fruit puree, and Ancho Reyes liqueur. It is slightly spicy but it tamed pretty quickly due to the sweet passion fruit flavor. It is totally approachable and refreshing. Rating: 5/5

Guacamole is made with avocado, serrano peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, white onions, and fresh lime. It is creamy with added chunky texture. I prefer guacamole without tomatoes. It also needs more salt as it was very bland. I would also add fresh minced garlic for more flavor. Rating: 2.5/5

Fresh Corn and Blueberry Pancakes served with whipped butter and maple syrup. These were da bomb! Imagine if a blueberry buttermilk pancake and a blueberry corn muffin were merged together. This is what it would taste like. A stack of three will be filling on its own. I would order some protein like bacon or chorizo to have a sweet and salt balance. Rating: 4.5/5

Carnitas Taco is crispy pork, caramelized orange peel, pickled jalapeno, tomatillo fresca, guacamole, and crema. The pork was tender, but I expected it to have crispy edges like any good carnitas. But it tasted more like a pulled pork taco with Mexican flavors. Rating: 3.5/5

Chilaquiles are roasted poblano, queso fresco, crema, and black beans atop crispy corn tortillas with either ranchero or tomatillo sauce. You can also add 2 eggs any style, pulled chicken tinga and/or Spanish chorizo for an additional cost. It has layered flavors from the fresh slightly spicy poblano, creamy queso fresco, rich black beans, and tangy ranchero sauce. I would probably add 2 sunny side eggs for the creamy yolk flavor and texture and chorizo for a spicy, meaty addition. Rating: 3/5

Mole Enchilada is pulled Mary’s free range chicken and tinga sauce wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with mole de poblano, crema, queso fresco, and toasted sesame seeds. This was fantastic! The mole is rich and slightly chocolately. I just love how mole works so well with chicken. Rating: 4.5/5

Egg White Omelet contains black kale, chipotle shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and oyster mushrooms topped with grilled corn relish. It is definitely a healthy omelet. However, I personally love the taste of egg yolk so this just didn’t do it for me. It really needs a dairy component, but it may have been left out to keep things on the lighter side. Even a sprinkle of cojita cheese might have been great. Rating: 2.5/5

Churros are served with dulce de leche and chocolate sauce for dipping. They were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I really like the dulce de leche – rich, creamy flavor works well with churros. Rating: 4.5/5

Key Lime Pie tastes like key lime pie. It is creamy and the right balance of sour and sweet is achieved. It is a great ending to any meal. Rating: 4/5

Tortilla Republic is a great place to meet friends and just enjoy the ocean views. Now, if I can only make it to the one on Kauai, I would be a happy wahine!

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
480 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651