Miguel's Cocina & Cantina Celebrates 20 Years with a Striking Renovation
Barriga llena, corazón contento.
After almost 20 years of serving authentic Mexican cuisine to the city of Corona, Miguel’s California Mexican Cocina & Cantina, undergoes extensive remodeling to welcome a new chapter. A temporary closure took place on March 2018 and was back to business as usual, by April 9. The restaurant also hosted a grand re-opening on April 19 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Over the years, locals as well as commuters, could not avoid seeing the white iconic building perched on a slope, off the 91 highway. Now, we can look to a new bright color palate. The new design pays homage to the restaurant’s history and heritage with updated exterior colors, interior furniture and new décor.
Rich woods and fabrics accentuate the new flooring and furniture ensemble. Directly ahead is the entrance to the cantina, which displays the same color scheme.
The restaurant features one private dinning room.
On the kitchen island towards the back, fresh flour tortillas are made daily.
Wooden French doors carved in a sun design, is the entrance to the dedicated banquette hall, or Sun Room. The space is available for exclusive events by reservation only and can accommodate up to 80 guests.
On 1973, Miguel’s Restaurant was founded by Mike and Mary Vasquez in Corona, California. There are 14 additional locations between Orange County and the Inland Empire, including Miguel’s Jr.
The restaurant is named in honor of Mike's grandfather, Miguel.
Part of the restaurant's new décor includes black and white vintage photos of founders' hometown.
The founders are from Celaya, Mexico.
Mary's kitchen, in Mexico.
Mike and Mary would meet by the water tower, when they first began dating.
It brings Mary great joy to share her family history and her recipes. Here she is with her mother.
Miguel’s is "committed to the spirit of hospitality and enriching relationships in a wholesome environment." They continue the family tradition of home-style Mexican dishes inspired by the cuisine of Central Mexico.
The cuisine is made using only premium and best tasting ingredients. The kitchen carries fresh Haas avocados, all natural and hormone free poultry, pasture raised, corn fed beef, 100% stone ground tortillas and tortilla chips, as well as, fresh-made daily hot sauce.
I was welcomed to dine and experience the restaurant’s latest upgrades in a sneak preview. The event began in the banquet hall with cocktail hour.
The full service bar only pours100% Blue Agave Tequila. I tried all three featured margaritas.
The Cucumber Cilantro Signature Margarita downright refreshed my
palate. This margarita is made with Cruz Blanco, triple sec, homemade sweet & sour, and is garnished with fresh cucumber slices and cilantro leaves. I could literally snack on the cucumbers as I sip my cocktail and cut down on the addicting tortilla chips–genious! Cilantro can have a strong flavor but in this case, it was quite mellow.
Two margaritas from the Favorites Menu were served. The Skinny Margarita, made with (100% Organic) Azunia Blanco, fresh lime juice & Agave nectar, served chilled in a martini glass. I mean... thank you for placing me on a diet because this is so wonderful. I also tried the Old Coin. This cocktail is made with Herradura Reposado, Cointreau & fresh lime juice and it served on the rocks. This is a well made margarita for those who prefer a traditional take.
Cóctel de Camarón
To tease our appetite, a round of Cóctel de Camarón is served. The
Mexican white prawn cocktail is topped with diced tomatoes, serrano chiles and avocado. The concoction of citrus, tomato and spice, was well balanced. It did not require the addition of condiments. And although I tend to prefer my food on the spicier side, the heat level was present enough to meet my expectations.
The Heart-a-taco was served as an appetizer and it stole my heart... I may have had seconds. Jack cheese is menlted onto a tortilla, then topped with tender carnitas , shredded cheese and all the trimmings.
Maria's Chopped Salad
Cocktail hour segued into a tour a restaurant tour. After, admiring the striking updates, we met back in the banquet hall where a buffet awaited.
I started with Maria's Chopped Salad. The yummy salad is prepared with charbroiled chicken breast, crisp greens, tomatoes, pepitas, Sonora beans, cotija cheese & tossed in a special house dressing. The salad is garnished with tortilla strips & avocado.
I couldn't believe the size of the flautas–almost as big as a burrito! Platters are offered with choice of chicken or beef and are served with guacamole & sour cream. Although, I usually prefer a corn tortilla, this flour version was extra flaky and scrumptious. The flauta is replete with seasoned tender, shredded meat.
Pescado con Rajas
Feeling for a light entree, the Pescado con Rajas had my name it! Delicately charbroiled Icelandic cod is prepared in butter & raja sauce. The rajas, or ribbons of chile pasilla, are fairly mild yet bring a lot of flavor to the cream. I was utterly satisfied with the food!
The buffet also offered Steak and Chicken Picado. Chicken or steak are sautéed in ranchera salsa and topped with española sauce. The aroma was quite delightful, but I was satiated.
The private event was held in the Sun Room.
Mike turns 75 years old, this year. Congratulations!
Miguel’s California Mexican Cocina & Cantina
1920 Frontage Rd
Corona, CA 92882
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