.Dios Mío, Tapatío!

A Jalisco-centric cantina

La Chimichanga Cantina in Scotts Valley opened in 2019. Nancy Ortiz started there a year later and was promoted to manager four months ago. She worked at the previous restaurant in the same location, but left due to a car accident before coming back after a cook recommended her as a great employee to the new owners. Born in Querétaro, Mexico, she says she immigrated here 24 years ago with her family for a better and more successful life.

She defines La Chimichanga Cantina’s ambiance as inviting and colorful, pairing amiable employees with eye-catching animal paintings on the wall. The menu is Jalisco-centric Mexican food, based on a combination of the owner’s family recipes and the chef’s creations. The breakfast burritos are huge in size and popularity; for lunch/dinner, they of course feature a hearty chimichanga, a deep-fried and customizable burrito. Combo plates with tacos, enchiladas, tamales and chile rellenos are also available. They also offer vegan options like nachos and crispy tacos, and have a full bar highlighted by their raved-about house margaritas.

Tell me about your bar program.

NANCY ORTIZ: We have house specialty drinks, one of which is our margarita, but we also offer Chimi-ritas, which are margaritas with cognac and Grand Marnier. We have other margaritas too, like skinny and flavored options, a drink called Toxica that has mezcal, and the Paloma, with grapefruit soda, tequila, fresh lime and a Tajin/Chamoy rim dip garnished with orange and cucumber. And we also have an inclusive nonalcoholic menu featuring aguas frescas, horchata, pina coladas, Jarritos and soft drinks.

What do you love about the Scotts Valley community?

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They have really embraced us and been very welcoming. Our customers have been very supportive and complimentary of our food and drinks. Guests often thank us for having a totally vegan menu in a Mexican restaurant, which is very unique. And we often get recommendations and referrals from locals who tell their friends about our great happy hour menu.

Open daily 8am–9pm. 95 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, 831-438-2567; chimichangacantinasv.com



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