Calaca Mamas Cantina is a new Dia De Los Muertos themed cantina and it’s ready to shake up the food offerings across the street from the Happiest Place on Earth. Located next to the IHOP on Harbor, it’s conveniently walkable from Disneyland and is actually closer to walk to than Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney.
The fiery new concept (replacing infamous Captain Kidd’s buffet) takes a decidedly more upscale approach and aims to tempt magic-seekers to leave the Disney bubble for a wide variety of Mexican favorites alongside some fun twists on classics.
We had the chance to participate in an advanced sneak taste to review what the location has to offer and it promises to be a strong contender in fighting for your attention during a trip to the Disneyland Resort. In full disclosure, the food and beverages available during this preview were provided without charge.
The menu is fairly expansive but overall has a fun and imaginative lean. The Tacos in a Bag takes an individual serving of Fritos then piles in cheese, choice of protein and all the taco fixings. The chicken was a little on the blander side but paired with the salty corn chips made for a satisfying bite if you get a little bit of everything all at once. This might make a better appetizer for the table, similar to nachos where everyone can dig in.
You can see the unbagging of the Tacos in a Bag in our TikTok video below.
Chicken Tinga Flautas were nice and crispy although some (or maybe just me) might prefer slightly smaller flautas to ensure a more satisfying crunch. Still, the flavors are there and the habanero honey salsa was a standout. Tacos range from the standard carne asada with chile de arbol salsa to the more delectable lengua with salsa roja — yes, you are now walking distance from Disneyland to a place where you can get a warm yellow corn tortilla filled with tender tongue! It was fantastic.
Traditional style platters are also available. The Mahi-Mahi was served over a charred tomatillo salsa with an avocado salad and rice while the marinated skirt steak Carne Asada with salsa roja had rice and pickled onions with cotija cheese. Each come with choice of flour or corn tortillas. You are also supposed to get a choice of beans that are either refritos negros or frijoles charros but we did not get to try them.
Desserts did not disappoint. This Uno de Todos dessert plate had a banana chia pudding, crispy warm chrurros with dulce de leche and Abuela chocolate dipping sauce, a molten chocolate lava cake (with more of that Abuela flavor), plus flan and a Key Lime pie!
The cocktail menu is also a destination in its own right! The expansive offering features a blend of exciting flavors in fun combinations.
Going for the glory, the CHURRO ON ICE cocktail features a fig and vanilla house-infused Espolon Reposado tequila, Licor 43, lime, agave, garnished with a cinnamon sugar rim and dehydrated lime wheel. It’s like an alcoholic churro but without the heavy lean on dairy that you might expect a drink like this to contain! There’s also the refreshing MIRACLE AGUA with a delightful blend of New Amsterdam gin, ginger beer, muddled strawberries, rhubarb bitters, lime, topped with a skewered strawberry and mint sprig
The TIPSY POMELO was a personal favorite with Giffard pineapple cordial, Pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur, White Haven Sauvignon Blanc, house-made rosemary simple syrup, garnished with a burnt rosemary sprig and grapefruit peel. Meanwhile, the MORA MORA boasts Old Forester whiskey, Greenbar hibiscus liqueur, blackberries, lemon, honey simple syrup, garnished with a lemon peel.
The restaurant has a decidedly modern aesthetic with a lean into an artsy Dia De Los Muertos vibe. You can learn more about the details in our previous posting below.
See it for Yourself
Calaca Mamas Cantina is located at 1550 S. Harbor Blvd across the street from Disneyland and is now open!