Already a mainstay in the Antelope Valley, where it has operated three restaurants for several decades, Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant headed south 9 months ago to open a new location in Canyon Country.
It’s a big, beautiful space, whether you’re in the main dining room or the massive bar. Both are outfitted with huge, comfortable booths and a few tables. The dining room has clean white walls with a few festive murals, while the bar is primarily dark blue tile amidst a backdrop of 16 large screen TVs playing sports and a glittering array of glassware and bottles.
Speaking of the bar, margaritas are very popular at Medrano’s and are half price every Tuesday. Like just about everything at Medrano’s, the margarita mix is made daily on the premises. So are the chips, which come out warm with just the right amount of salt, as well the salsas and bean dip.
The red salsa is a classically delicious mix of tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, while the chile verde is made with tomatillos and peppers for a little extra kick. (If you really like it hot, ask for the habanero salsa). That bean dip is something special, too, with a smoky hint of chorizo nestled within its creamy depths.
Don’t fill up on chips and dips, though. There’s lots of dishes to try at Medrano’s, which features recipes from the Guanajuato region of Mexico, where the family hails from.
It’s all served up with a smile, which Jose Medrano believes has been the key to their success.
“My family worked in restaurants for years, so my parents decided 24 years ago to open up our own place,” said Jose Medrano, who manages the Canyon Country location. “We believe it’s the service and the feeling of family that sets us apart. If you don’t have good staff and service, it doesn’t matter how good the food is.”
Thankfully, Medrano’s has both.
Take the Chili Colorado ($13.95). It’s a rustic dish with large chunks of tender beef swimming in a beautifully rich, red broth redolent of chili. It’s fabulous on its own, rolled up into the warm tortillas or paired with fluffy Spanish rice and yummy refried beans on the side.
Those beans, which are thicker than the dip, are addicting for a reason.
“We use lard. It makes it hard to stop eating them,” Medrano noted.
Classics like a beef enchilada and chili relleno combo ($11.95) are elevated with meat that delivers a burst of savory juiciness with each bite and a fresh Anaheim chili that holds a river of molten cheese inside its lightly battered shell.
There’s something for everyone here. For example, the super refreshing ceviche tostadas ($12.95) feature generous amounts of halibut, which marinates in lemon juice for something of a salsa meets sushi type dish. Looking for something a bit heartier? There are burritos, quesadillas, and seafood/meat specialties galore.
On Sundays, Medrano’s offers menudo and pozole with all the accoutrements – such as rice, tortillas, cabbage, radishes and more – at $12.95 for a huge bowl.
Medrano’s is happy to cater to vegan, vegetarians, and other dietary needs, as well.
“Just ask our servers and they can have the chef make something,” Medrano said.
Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant, 19319 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Open Sunday to Thursday, 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm. Banquet seating for up to 50. Catering available. For more info, visit www.medranosmexicanfood.com or call 661-367-4945.
SIDEBAR: Fun & Specials at Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant
Sunday to Thursday, 3 to 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday, 3 to 6 pm
Margaritas – Small $4, Medium $5, Large $6 ($1 extra for flavor)
Well Drinks $5, Draft Beer Schooner $4 to $9
Appetizers – Taquitos, Tacos, Burrito, Quesadilla, Potato Skins, Nachos or Buffalo Drums – $7
Karaoke Nights (in the Bar)
Thursday, 7 to 11 pm
Friday and Saturday, 7 pm to 1 am
Kid’s Eat Free
Every Wednesday, with purchase of adult entrée
Monday – Friday 11 am to 3 pm
One item combos $8.95
Two item combos $9.95