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THE NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Make Like a Local and Dig In at Las Barcas

August 23, 1990|APRIL JACKSON

Las Barcas, at the corner of Atlanta Avenue and Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach, serves up some of the finest, biggest and tastiest servings of food, not to mention ice-cold beers, the local folk could ever ask for. And this is definitely a place for local folks.

On any given evening, the small dining room is packed with a variety of customers patiently standing in line to order: from dutiful parents picking up dinner on their way home from work to surfers chowing down after a day shredding the waves. Las Barcas' hodgepodge of red-and-green thrown-together-over-the-years Mexican decor lends an air of relaxed festivity.

Autographed Polaroids of restaurant patrons adorn one wall. These photos surely must commemorate the people who have actually won a spot to dine inside the tiny eatery.

Las Barcas seats a maximum of 15 to 20 people inside, with more table seating outside on the sidewalk. With the crowds this place attracts, that's not very accommodating. But given the overstuffed portions--making for lots of gooey ingredients dripping down the hands--this food is best eaten in the privacy of your own home anyway.

The menu features ranchero-covered burritos large enough to feed two hungry adults for $3.50, or fresh snapper tacos, served with lemon slices and tartar sauce, for $1.65. Homemade tortilla chips, and a salsa bar stocked with fresh jalapenos and cilantro-seasoned hot sauces of varying fire-eating appeal, round out any meal.

So, whether or not you are one, make like a local and grab a place in line and a longneck and dig into some of the best beachside cheap eats available in Orange County.

Las Barcas Mexican Restaurant, 21032 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (714) 536-2616.

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