Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ostioneria Colima in Hacienda Heights

Do you sometimes get food cravings that last weeks and weeks and you can't just kick them until you satisfy them? Well mine recently was for any kind of ceviche, and although I tried ceviche at Taco Nazo and thought it was good, I wanted to try another place. With Yelp to the rescue, I found out about Ostioneria Colima.

We missed the parking in front when we drove by, so we kept going and parked in the large plaza just down the street and walked over. As soon as we got inside, we felt like we were in Baja.

The menu on the large board was in Spanish except for the "Order Here" sign. The TV's on the ceilings were all in Spanish and the servers spoke Spanish to me. It was a good thing my Spanish skills are quite good. We were the only non-Hispanic folks there, so we felt like how non-Asians might feel walking into a Chinese restaurant, but at least it's a good sign because then I knew this was the real deal here. Let's play a game. Can you spot R's bald head in the photo above?

The inside seating is quite cramped, but there are seats outdoors too. Out came some chips and salsa. This was very good and spicy salsa, and the chips were excellent.

Reading the reviews, I decided I had to get the campechana, which is a seafood cocktail. Mine came in a huge glass cup with large shrimps and fresh avocado, octopus pieces and I believe abalone cubes. Believe it or not, the cup I ordered was the small. I'm wondering how big the large is. This campechana was a little on the sweet side, but nothing that a little Mexican lime juice and some Tapitio hot sauce couldn't fix. You know Tapitio makes everything taste better, and I'm not just saying that because the owners' children were C's classmates in preschool.

We also ordered a shrimp ceviche, which came out on a tostada. Again, some Mexican limes and Tapitio were called for, but it was loaded with shrimps and was excellent.

I forgot to warn hubby about the size of the tacos, so he ordered five fish tacos, and that was way too much for our small family. The fish tacos above are not the kinds I normally like. The fish itself was tough, resembling more of the Vietnamese fried fish (Ca Chien) than the lightly battered and fried kind that I like in fish tacos, and the cabbage and white sauce added a bitterness to the tacos that I didn't find enjoyable.

Same with the shrimp taco I ordered. Too chewy. I looked around and was tempted by the oysters on the half shell, and the price on that was not bad, but since we ordered too much food, I'm saving it for next time. I also heard good things about their spicy shrimps (Camarones Diablo) and am looking forward to another trip to taste those too. If you're in the mood for some good Mexican mariscos, I highly recommend Ostioneria Colima. For tacos, go elsewhere. Oh, by the way, make sure your kids don't keep pressing the little black buttons on the windows and tables, because those buttons call the servers over, and they'd be angry if they have to come over for nada.

There are some other Ostioneria Colima's sprinkled around the Southland, but this got the best reviews.

Ostioneria Colima is located at 1136 S. Hacienda Blvd in Hacienda Heights, CA (626) 333-8017


Jenn said...

I'm the same way. I'll get a food craving that'll last until I finally give in. I want those tacos. LOL. I gotta check this place out. I wonder if there's one near the valey. Either way, I don't mind the drive down there.

EatTravelEat said...

These dishes look delicious- expecially the campechana and the shrimp ceviche! You can definitely tell the freshness and the quality of the dishes from your photos.

Never have seen a order of 5 fish tacos before! Usually I just see 2 or 1 in a order. I like that they are giant. It always makes me feel I wasted money whenever I go to Rubios as their fish tacos are a bit too small, and it is filled with tons of cabbage!

I remember driving by this place before. Their signage is very memorable!

imjustatree said...

i think i've read a post about this on another food blog. i'll have to try this place out sometime...i've been wanting some good ceviche, and when i had it at taco nazo, it wasn't very fresh at all.

James @ The Eaten Path said...

Stuff like this makes me wish I loved shrimp as much as everyone else :-/

Still, great find! I'll eat just about anywhere for great chips and salsa. Maybe I'll be able to give it a shot the next time I'm in the area.

Marie said...

That campechana is truly something to behold! Sounds very filling and tasty, but I would be up a creek since I don't know Spanish aside from a random mix of vocab (mostly food items)! For the sake of my gluttony, I really must take a Spanish class.

Jen Jen said...

make me mouth watering just reading your post. Looking forward to it.

Tangled Noodle said...

The shrimp ceviche looks great but I can only admire from afar - this would be quite a drive from MN! Thanks for sharing, though!

Bits said...

Wow! I'm getting hungry and drooling with some many good food.

shavedicesundays said...

Jenn, I'm not sure about the Valley, but I think there is one in Echo Park, but I don't know if the quality is the same or not.

EatTravelEat, I know, my hubby always order too much. Yeah, can't miss that sign.

Sawyer, you didn't the taco nazo one? The serving there was small and I think it wasn't sour enough for my taste, but it was alright.

James, their salsa was delicious. I don't know if it's unlimited since we didn't ask, but you can ask them.

Marie, I read somehwere that there is an English menu if you ask them, but I'm not sure. Since you know the food words, just go.

Jen Jen, we need to share a plate of oysters.

Tangles Oysters, it doesn't look that hard to replicate actually. Just use really fresh ingredients.

Bits of Taste, drool away!

Smokeydoke said...

I live a few mins from here! It's such a great deal, I stop here after shopping at 99 cent store and I make a cheap day of it. LOL.
Their fish tacos are huge, usually takes me two meals to finish them. Place is so packed on Sats.

SinoSoul said...

replying super late. Check out ErikM's post on CH: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/529261 for Mex-style marisco joints. It's very complete; where you find a great coctel de camarones, you'll most likely find great ceviche as well.

Taco Nazo is Long John Silver of Fish Tacos

wendycakes said...

my fave local spot for some yummy marisco! there's a younger guy who also tends the cashier and he speaks english. next time you should try their ceviche de pescado, it's super lime-y and absolutely delightful.