El Mercado Modern Cuisine, Santa Ana (Anepalco spin-off)

There is a new restaurant in downtown Santa Ana called El Mercado Modern Cuisine, which is a spin-off from Chef Daniel Godinez who created the two Anepalco restaurants in Orange. Food was excellent the one time we went for brunch last week. Will definitely go back.

BTW, Nate Overstreet is in the kitchen at El Mercado. He was the founder of the short-lived Wheat & Son butcher in the Anaheim Packing House (which, in my opinion, was the only reason to go to the Packing House – his sandwiches, side dishes, entrees, pies, and meats were always truly outstanding).


Nice. I’ve been hearing good things about this place but also heard it’s not been very busy.

I am sad to hear that Wheat & Sons closed

It closed a while ago and was one of the reasons we stopped going to the Packing District more often. They made a great porchetta sandwich and roti chicken.

It’s interesting that he has popped back up helming a Mexican restaurant.

I don’t disagree with anything you have said. Sad face no more Wheat and Sons. They made an excellent mortadella sandwich.

Wheat and sons also made a great porchetta sandwich, never understood why there were such long lines for the other sandwich place next door.

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We went early Oct and you can read my brief review here:

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Went yesterday (10/28). Not very busy, but hopefully that will improve as more people hear about it.

"Mezcal & Beer" (Montelobos Mezcal, Passion Fruit, Ginger Beer, Cucumber)

Tabasco - Ceviche de Coco, Cherry Tomatos, Cucumber, Coconut Water/Foam

Chiapas - Pan Fried Fish, Roasted Salsa, Black Bean Puree, Cherry Tomato

Hidalgo - Barbacoa de Chivo, Consome, Pickled Onions (comes w/ Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa and Blue Corn Tortillas)

Puebla - Chicken Mole, Cotija, Avocado Puree, Onion, Cilantro


Hi @yangster777,

Thanks for the report back. So what did you think of the food?

And I can’t believe this is from the same chef that did Wheat & Sons (looks totally different). :slight_smile:

The food was very good. Our favorite dish was the barbacoa, but not a weak dish among the four. Actually, as we were leaving, we were already thinking about what we would order next time. And it’ll be interesting to see how often the menu rotates since there are 31 states and only 18 items on the menu.

To clarify though, the menu is probably driven by Godinez, not Overstreet (I’m guessing he’s there to help out and learn rather than as a permanent/long-term position). So, there was no surprise on my part about the quality and flavor of the dishes.

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We went back to El Mercado, this time for dinner (instead of brunch).

We were a sizable group and sampled many dishes and they were all tasty and interesting.

I especially liked the tacos orientlas (the Chihuahua item on the menu), others really liked the mole dish (Puebla), and the Costillas de puerco, pork with red chile morita sauce (Queretaro).

The different entrees are named after the different states of Mexico.

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