Short Order: Diego’s, Santa Ana

mqff6s-b781146750z.120130723224755000gi71ev4rr.1Mulato chile shrimp at Diego’s (Photo by Eugene Garcia, OC Register)

Has this ever happened to you? I sit down for dinner, but I can’t hear a word the waitress is saying, and she can’t make out what I’m saying, either. There is a Latin jazz trio playing this night, which amplifies the already unbearable acoustics 10-fold. After a fruitless exchange, my guest and I have to get up and walk out without placing an order. We notice two other tables doing exactly the same thing, leaving the restaurant completely empty of customers at prime dinnertime.

And that’s a real shame. On a previous visit, also loud but without the band, the braised short rib turns out to be one of the better, more interesting short ribs I’ve had in awhile, so tender and slightly sticky with its complex tamarind and chili glaze. And the coco leche cake is genius, a tres leches that’s amped up with coconut milk…

This is obviously merely a synopsis. Want more? You can read the original article and view  an extensive slide show by photographer Eugene Garcia in this week’s OC Register. Subscriptions are required. We don’t give away our work for free at the newsstand, nor do we don’t give it away for free online. Everyone gets one week of complimentary trial access, but after that you’ll need to become a subscriber. Or, if you don’t want to subscribe, you can simply buy a Day Pass — cheaper than a cup of coffee — for 24-hour access to the entire OC Register archive. 

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