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San Juan’s Ysidora Restaurant hosts a dinner to die for

Ysidora Restaurant & Lounge Bar.
(Courtesy of the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano)

If you’re looking for a dinner to die for, look no further than the Inn at San Juan Capistrano Day of the Dead Dinner Celebration at Ysidora Restaurant and Lounge.

The property’s Spanish-inspired restaurant is hosting a Día de Los Muertos celebration on Nov. 2. Guests will gather in the courtyard at communal tables decorated with skulls, candles and festive trimmings under the historic olive trees.

The event will also feature live music, tapas, and a specially curated meal from Executive Chef Aaron Obregon.

Chef Obregon hails from Mexico City and began his culinary career in Los Angeles before becoming chef de partie of BIKO in Mexico City. Obregon is an experienced vegan chef and traveled to Spain to study Spanish culture and cuisine before landing at the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano to helm the properties two culinary concepts, Ysidora, and coffee house, El Café Real.

Executive Chef Aaron Obregon.
(Courtesy of the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano)

The dinner will be served family-style in a communal-seating dinner experience, with dishes like quesadillas de huitlacoche, made with Mexican mushroom and queso Oaxaca, tamales con rajas and Costilla en recado negro short rib tomahawk served with charred chile adobo.

Guests will also be invited to write down the names of loved ones who have passed on to add to two grand altars that will be set up in the courtyard, a way to remember and celebrate their lives.

Live music will begin at 6 p.m. and go until 9 p.m., while dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults start at $55 per person, with additional wine or tequila pairings available for $39. Tickets for children 12 and under start at $19 and reservations can be made on Open Table or by calling (949) 503-5720.

Carpaccio de Res at Ysidora Restaurant & Lounge.
(Courtesy of the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano)

In addition to the Day of the Dead dinner celebration, the Inn at San Juan Capistrano will also host a Trick or Treat event in the courtyard of their sister concept, El Café Real, on Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Little ones can collect candy and adults can enjoy a tapas menu with items like short rib sliders, macaroni and cheese croquettes and special la colombe craft drink specials available for purchase. A free, family-friendly movie will also be shown in the courtyard, and no reservations are required.

Ysidora Restaurant and Lounge opened at the Inn at San Juan Capistrano in 2020 and is named for the Mission’s historic matriarch, Ysidora Forster.

The property is also home to an olive grove, which hosts a Nuvo Olive Oil Tasting each second Thursday for the month featuring Chef Obregon’s signature “Exploding Olive,” blood orange olive oil cake, balsamic vinegar cocktails and EVOO and balsamic-based gelato and sorbet. Upcoming dates are Nov. 11 and Dec. 9, and the tastings are priced at $20 per person.

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