About us & Photo Gallery
Take a look at the place, the people and the food…
Let us introduce ourselves
In 1988, “El Chinaco” was opened as a small taco stand on Harbor Blvd, in Costa Mesa by Mirna Burciaga, an immigrant from El Salvador. Mirna combined traditional Mexican fare with the Salvadorean specialties she learned from her mother and grandmother. She chose the name El Chinaco, which refers to brave indigenous warriors of Mexican independence. To build business, she passed out samples of her Salvadorean pupusas to local businesses and everyone loved them! As her business grew, in 2001, she moved El Chinaco to a more spacious, purpose built, location just a half mile away on 19th Street where it is located today.
Mirna retired from the restaurant business in 2014 and handed over the reins to new El Chinaco owners, Osbelia and Tryal Edmundson. They are dedicated to furthering her vision of serving authentic Mexican and Salvadorean food, using the freshest ingredients and healthiest cooking methods. El Chinaco bases its flavorful recipes on the traditional staples of corn, rice, tomatoes, and onions along with rich herbs and spices, plus superior cuts of meat.At El Chinaco, a dedicated, loyal team are ready to serve you. Many of them have been with the restaurant for years, and are a valuable and important part of the restaurant family.
Over the years, El Chinaco has been featured by many media outlets including The OC Register, The Daily Pilot, OC Weekly and Ciudad where, in 2007, the restaurant was selected as having the best Pupusas. Customers have given El Chinaco high accolades and positive reviews on Yelp as well!
Pupusas are the house specialty and it is recommended that you try them on your first visit! They, and other Salvadorean specialties, are made to order, pupusas take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to make. Often on weekends and Pupusa Tuesdays, orders can be especially heavy, so it is best to call ahead to avoid a long wait!
Come visit us at El Chinaco and enjoy a delicious traditional Mexican and Salvadorean meals. The staff is looking forward to serving you soon!
Years of experience