Local Eats: Mi Casa

If you dont like cheese, then this may not be the place for you. If you do, please continue reading. :)IMG_0050.JPG

Mi Casa is a local landmark, set into a strip mall on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. I have been going there for close to 36 years now and love it every time. Owned and operated by the Moore family since it’s inception in 1972, it is a favorite stop for the Costa Mesa/ Newport Beach locals. On any given evening there can be a waiting list, and well worth it. They do not take phone reservations, and request all your party be there before you put your name on the list. Mi Casa is still family run, and most likely your waiter or waitress is related to one of the Moore clan somehow. The ambiance is on the darker side, but lively. There is always a million conversations going on and from almost anywhere in the restaurant one can hear the bustle in the kitchen. While waiting for a table, or if just a libation is desired, one can wait in the bar. Aptly named “The Burro Room,” it also has it’s own entrance at the rear of the building.


The interior has not changed much in since they opened. The location was originally a steakhouse before the Moore family purchased the space. From the naugahyde booths and the ranch themed table tops to the fake plants and wagon wheel chandeliers, it has remained status-quo. I have noticed that sometime in the past 10 years, the hanging chili-pepper lights that were there forever have disappeared and when I mentioned it to the waiter, he said “I didn’t notice but your right.”


Another thing that has not changed since they opened is the menu. There has been little if any change to it. The chips are still made fresh, the salsa is addicting and has a good bite. If one is feeling brave, ask for the hot stuff. It has habanero in it and is not for the faint of heart. Luckily they leave a pitcher of water on the table for refills. Just be careful if you plan to eat a meal also. It is easy to fill up on the chips and salsa, but remember the portions at Mi Casa are huge.



As I mentioned before, this place is not for the faint of cheese. It was afternoon when I took this picture and we were eating light. This is the weekday lunch special that goes for $6.99 and includes the choice of a beef or chicken taco, cheese enchilada, or a pork tamale with rice and beans and soda. Other favorites are the taco and enchilada combinations, the flautas, and huevos rancheros. Our personal favorite is just the chips and cheese with guacamole. It is a meal in it self. And if you thought there was a lot of cheese on the other entrees, this is the mother-load.

There are not many restaurants that survive for as many years with the same menu, decor, and faithful clientele as Mi Casa has, so they must be doing things right.

I suggest you try it!

Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Bar
296 E. 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Local: (949) 645-7626
Toll Free: (877) MI CASA 1
FAX: (949) 645-6694




1 Comment so far

  1. Dave Share (daveshare) on July 31st, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

    I wish I had seen this 10 hours ago!!

    I was just across the street there (where I never go….too far) to buy a stethoscope!! AND I was hungry! This would have been way better than McDonalds…..which I’m still regretting. :-(

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