3851 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606
5 other locations in Orange County
The Lake Forest location is not listed on the website due to the fact that is a franchise owned by the brother of the original owner.
We started out the evening headed out to Chili's to try their new bacon smokehouse burgers. Since we were greeted by a 45 minute wait though, and we all agreed that Chili's wasn't worth the wait, we decided to find someplace else to grab a quick meal. After circling the Crossroads and Westpark parking lots, we decided to stop in at Jalapenos.
Jalapenos is as close to authentic Mexican fast food as you are going to find in Irvine. You order at the cash register and are then able to watch as the lightning fast cook prepares your meal just to the right of the register. They'll still give you a number and bring your order to the table though, as this place does get crowded and the cook sometimes gets backed up.
I decided to order the Jalapenos nachos ($5.25). This is my standard order here because I love their tortilla chips. My wife on the other hand strongly dislikes the nachos here for the same reason. Jalapenos makes their tortilla chips fresh by frying an extra thick corn tortilla for a little bit longer than usual. The result is a sturdy, crisp chip that my wife describes as "too hard". I think they're fantastic. The nachos are smothered in cheese, beans, sour cream, guacamole and meat. I chose carnitas as my meat. They were just as delicious as they always are. I also ordered a side of rice and beans ($2.50) to go along with it. The beans here are top notch.
My wife ordered a bean and cheese burrito ($3.10). She enjoyed it immensely. We shared a horchata that was pretty good, but pretty darn sweet. I had to wait for the ice to melt a little and dilute it before I could drink it.
Tim ordered a taco and enchilada combo ($6.50) and Isabel ordered an enchilada plate ($6.50). They both really enjoyed their food as well.
Jalapenos is very good for fast Mexican food. The carnitas here are what most people come here for. They even sell them by the pound. If you're in Irvine, and craving a tasty Mexican treat, head over to Jalapenos.
(Food prep area)
(Salsa bar with view of cook making a burrito)