Food: Campechana in the Heights


Ostioneria Colima in Hacienda Heights has been a fixture of Mexican cuisine in the area for some time now. One of my friends, who worked at Bank of America, told me her Hispanic co-workers raved about this place. As I’m all for new culinary experiences, this sounded like someplace I needed to try.

Since two of my friends that I regularly eat out with are not fans are cilantro. I haven’t had the chance to try it. But with one of them out of town and the other one sleeping in, I thought it would be good chance to try it with my other friends in the area.

It was a rainy day, but not enough to deter us from food. The decor is of a beach shack. With the rain, it kind of felt like a shack. The outside seating was flooded with water. It definitely added to the appeal and gave it some real seaside atmosphere. The menu was all in Spanish but with a trusty translation program on my friend’s i-phone, ordering was done without any big problems.

Pescado Frito

One word: FISHY! This dish was a whole fried tilapia with some rice and salad. As a person who likes seafood, this was a bit of a travesty. The only time you get a fishy taste on a fish is if the fish isn’t fresh. One bite into the thing and I could tell that it has been frozen for a while. I won’t be ordering this again. Too bad because if they had used fresh fish, this dish could have been amazing.

Campechanca

So this seafood cocktail is the reason I came to this restaurant. My friends and I shared it. It came in a large glass cup. It was filled with clitantro, tomato juice, and lots of seafood. Oysters, octopus, clams, oysters, scallops, squid, and shrimp made up most of what was inside. The taste was actually quite sweet despite all the tomatoes. There was a nice citrus note to the flavor and the seafood was not dried out at all.

Camerones Ranchero

This was the dish my friend ordered for himself. I tried a bit of the shrimp. It was good but not memorable. It tasted like a nicely seasoned grilled shrimp dish.

Overall, it was a nice place to visit. I think it was a bad luck that we ordered the fried fish but everything else was decent. It has a charming rustic atmosphere and there is even someone selling somethings in the back of the film variety.

Parting Words

I would probably eat here again but not of my own volition. I wouldn’t make the drive there, but maybe if somebody drove me. The restaurant feels like it deserves a second shot since the fried fish dish I ordered was so disagreeable.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.