Pour Vida is a dining gem

POUR VIDA in Anaheim is a happy haven for your taste buds (Western Sun photo).

POUR VIDA in Anaheim is a happy haven for your taste buds (Western Sun photo).

By Thom deMartino/Western Sun staff writer

Planning a trek in the general direction of the Magic Kingdom, but not looking to spend your entire paycheck on a single hot dog? Then whether you know it or not, you may be seeking for Pour Vida, only minutes north of the Happiest Place On Earth, just off of Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim.

new Food review bugsThe downtown Anaheim area has an artist’s colony feel to it: wonderful local color that includes a farmer’s market on Thursdays, the eclectic Gypsy’s Den with its diverse music and nightly revelries — and for those coffee connoisseurs, the Ink and Bean, an uncharacteristic java joint that provides the starving artists their motivational elixir along with a stylish atmosphere punctuated with authentic antique typewriters, wine and a selection of books to peruse.

But a true hidden gem is Pour Vida: so unobtrusive that you might just miss it, unless you keep a sharp eye out for it. With a selection of daily specials of exceptional quality, it may just become your newest go-to for reasonably-priced tacos with indisputable and addictive flavor.

Though they have the traditional Taco Tuesday, for example, the fare is anything but: take for instance, the Pork & Plantain taco, only $3; succulent grilled and tender pork, laced with black beans and a hidden couple of spears of deceptively sweet plantains (of the banana family.)

There’s also the tempura oyster taco, small for $3.50, larger portion for $7, with delicately fried oysters atop pickled napa cabbage, with chipotle creme fraiche on top of a house-made squid ink tortilla; the chicken mole taco, sweet and savory: even the brussels sprout tacos for you vegans out there (yes, I said brussels sprouts: even if you loathed them as a kid, the grilled, blackened exterior combined with the complex flavor of the ginger/soy glaze will make you a true believer.)

There’s also a selection of other savory — and healthy — treats to try: “Gold of the Incas,” black quinoa, romaine lettuce, tortilla strips and house dressing, like a Caesar salad on a house-made spinach tortilla, or even have it as a salad itself; the kale and endive salad, with shaved apple, blue cheese crumbles and smoked paprika cranberry vinaigrette; or even the heirloom cauliflower taco, small for $2.50, large for $5, cooked in “Chef Jimmy’s” secret spices, with the popular pickled cabbage and queso fresco.

If you’re looking to widen your culinary palate in a county with a veritable feast of Latin food, you’ll want to track down Pour Vida, and experience this taste revolution for yourself.

Pour Vida, 185 W. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim. (657) 208-3889

Open Tues. – Thurs. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Fri. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sun. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Price range: $2 – $14


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