The wife-and-husband duo behind the immensely popular Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano is opening a new Orange County restaurant this summer called Les Brisket Hut. Brenda and Daniel Castillo envision a casual taco-shop-meets-wine-bar operation serving a succinct menu of tacos featuring Heritage’s signature Texas-style smoked beef brisket tucked into handmade beef tallow tortillas. Les Brisket will be located inside a fully refurbished 75-year-old steel Quonset hut within a new shopping and dining development called Santa Ana Diesel.

The 1,500-square-foot space in Santa Ana is too small to allow for on-site smoking, so the Castillos will be transporting brisket, along with barbacoa, pulled pork, house-cured and smoked bacon, sausages, and chorizo from their more spacious 5,000-square-foot San Juan Capistrano restaurant. While the main menu is focused on tacos, the Castillos plan to serve Heritage Barbecue fan favorites periodically, including the smoked brisket banh mi. To pair with the tacos are natural wines from California and Texas, along with craft beers.

“I was born in Santa Ana and Brenda was raised in Santa Ana. My mom was born in Santa Ana, too, so it does feel like we get to come back now and really come full circle. We started our pop-ups out here in north OC,” Daniel tells Eater. The city is home to a growing number of Latino-owned businesses that the Castillos are excited to join including Alta Baja, Burritos La Palma, Lola Gaspar, El Mercado Modern, Suavecito, Bandito Taqueria, and Vacation Bar, among others.

The Castillos built a legion of dedicated fans for their take on Central Texas-style barbecue. Heritage Barbecue, which opened in 2020 and is widely regarded as the first fully licensed restaurant in California outfitted with Texas-style offset smokers, is as popular with critics as with barbecue-goers. The Michelin Guide named the restaurant a Bib Gourmand selection, while Food & Wine magazine recognized it as one of America’s best new barbecue spots. The Castillos opened Heritage Barbecue & Brewery in Oceanside in January 2023.

2024-02-23T21:45:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd