ANAHEIM, Calif. — A Day of the Dead-inspired Mexican restaurant is set to open in Anaheim on May 27, within walking distance of Disneyland and featuring a patio with nighttime views of the park’s fireworks.
Calaca Mamas Cantina, a family business started by a sister-restaurant duo who love Mexican cuisine and Día de Muertos festivals, will move into the former Captain Kidd’s Family Restaurant space on Harbor Boulevard.
“Although we have been in the restaurant industry for many years, this is the first time we have built the concept from scratch,” said restaurant co-owner Mariam El Haj with her sister, Angela. . “Since Day of the Dead traditions and celebrations have always resonated with Angela and I, despite not being Mexican ourselves, we wanted to pay homage to a culture that celebrates life and honors that heritage while creating a space that was unique to us.”
Calaca Mamas Cantina’s decor brings the Day of the Dead to the fore, with large murals by local street artists from Los Angeles design studio Splatterhaus, as well as artwork from the County Sisters’ travels. Orange in Mexico. A double-sided altar, connecting the dining room and the cantina, will feature marigolds in tribute to El Hajs’ deceased parents.
When it comes to food, the sisters plan traditional Mexican dishes — some with a twist.
“When it came to the restaurant menu and bar program, we knew we wanted to stick with tradition and showcase authentic Mexican dishes while adding fun and unexpected elements to it,” Angela said.
Menu options to include: chilaquiles con huevos; tacos, burritos and bowls; Huevos Rancheros; a “Walking Taco” with chicken tinga, carne asada, cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo in a bag of Fritos corn chips; “Tots con Todo”, a dish with carne asada and queso on crispy tater tots; and “Achiote Al Mar” with achiote-marinated mahi mahi, avocado salad, tomatillo salsa, red rice and beans.
The dessert menu will include a “Chariot Churro” and a “Flan d’Abuela”, made from a family recipe passed down to the sisters.
A canteen area will open up to an open-air patio with a fire pit and views of the Disney fireworks.
The bar, with boozy or blank options, will offer cocktails and margaritas such as “Churros on Ice Margarita” and “Pina Rica”, inspired by Disney’s Dole Whip.
Captain Kidd’s former buffet-style space has been renovated into the new restaurant, which will now seat 200 guests, while offering a larger semi-private space to accommodate parties of up to 12 people.
At 1550 S. Harbor Blvd., Calaca Mamas will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For opening updates, follow the Calaca Mamas Cantina website here, or here on Facebook and Instagram.