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Placentia: Old Town's Way of Life Feels Very Un-Urban

October 22, 2000|JOSE PAUL CORONA

* Looking for a new neighborhood to explore? Here are a few suggestions, culled from recent stories. Complete articles can be read at


Just a jump from the bustling Cal State Fullerton campus is Old Town Placentia. Seeming out of place in urban Southern California, small storefronts nestle among homes and apartment buildings, men in cowboy hats and boots stroll with ease down narrow streets and cheerful music bursts from slow-moving cars.

Raul Davis, manager of the Tlaquepaque Restaurant, explained the old town's allure: "There's a lot of history here."

The Tlaquepaque Restaurant (111 W. Santa Fe Ave., [714] 528-8515) has been giving a big bang for the buck since 1965. Davis recommends the Shrimp Tlaquepaque, shrimp and crab wrapped in bacon. Whether you dine in or out, stop by the adjoining bakery and pick up a bag of still-warm pan dulce, Mexican sweetbread and pastries.

If you need party supplies, Jerry Torres Party Rentals (126 W. Santa Fe Ave., [714] 528-6361), could be your only stop. You'll see dozens of pinatas dangling from the ceiling and small bags filled with brightly colored streamers and balloons hanging from hooks on the wall. Cake decorations such as miniature wineglasses and other festive items line the small, handcrafted shelves.

Getting there: Take the Chapman Avenue exit off the Orange Freeway and drive east past Kraemer Park with its lush green lawn and dolphins jumping out of the fountain. Look up and you'll see the red, white and blue water tower that looms over Placentia.

* A new Discover Orange County will run next Sunday in the Orange County Calendar.

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