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New downtown hipster deli open now but wouldn’t you rather eat a torta?

My daughter Becky loves to go to Chapter One: the Modern Local, with her boyfriend Alan.  She says they have the best drinks in town.  Now the guys who opened that restaurant have expanded with a new venture – a hipster deli called C4: the Cure for the Common.  It is located across from the Memphis at Santora, in the historic 1931 Empire building at the corner of Third and Broadway, near Chapter One.

For lunch, C4 plans to offer a variety of sandwiches – from classics like corned beef and pastrami to specialty creations such as a beef tongue sandwich served with baby octopus and heirloom potato salad.  Sandwich prices will range from $6 to $18 – the latter price reserved for some “crazy,” yet-to-be named sandwiches, Hall said, according to the O.C. Register.

C4 will be a deli shop in the area–a place that’ll sell chorizo and carne asada, for sure, but also some pastrami, morcilla, and other wonderful meats, along with the sandwiches to feed ravenous government workers, according to the OC Weekly.

C4’s Facebook page mentions House-cured meats, house-baked breads, house-made pickles. Draft and bottled beers, wines by the glass and by the bottle. Sandwiches, soups, salads, beer, wine, cheese.”

Their website offers an interesting description of what they hope to accomplish – It will speak to the Art Deco exterior of this historical building, the Empire Building, with Craftsman warmth as well as grandiose odes to 20’s stylized Art Deco sunbursts, long lines and the sheer, stark beauty that Rockefeller would’ve been envious he didn’t design and own for himself. Gotham City meets Frank Lloyd Wright, while maintaining the non-“Disney-esqe” way of making it actually feel like it authentically has been operating for decades with an inviting warmth.

But does Downtown Santa Ana need another hipster eatery?  If you ask me the best sandwiches in town are not the sort you will pay through the nose for at C4.  Give me a torta any day!  What is a torta, you ask?


In Mexico a torta is a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll, called a bolillotelerabirote, or pan francés, depending on the region. Tortas can be eaten cold or hot, grilled or toasted in a press in the same manner as a cuban sandwich or panini.

Garnishes such as avocadopoblanojalapeñotomato, and onion are common. The dish is popular throughout Mexico, and is also available anywhere with a large number of Mexican immigrants. In Northern Mexico, the torta is very frequently called lonche by influence of the English “lunch“, as it may be eaten during lunch break.

The sandwich is normally named according to its main ingredient:

  • Torta de jamón, ham-filled torta
  • Torta de aguacate, avocado-filled torta
  • Torta de adobadaadobo meat-filled torta
  • Torta de huevo, scrambled eggs-filled torta
  • Torta de milanesamilanesa meat-filled torta

But the torta ahogada, the “drowned” torta of Guadalajara is so called because it is smothered in a red sauce. Different fillings are available and they may be mixed to create an original torta.

Due to the practicality of being hand-carried, tortas are sold at massive events such as football matches, parades, and outdoor concerts, but they are also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at dedicated establishments or sold as street food by food carts.

There are no tortas at C4!  They just offer these:

No thanks….I will stick with tortas!  And they are a better value too, at $3 to $9 at most restaurants.

You can buy delicious tortas in Santa Ana at:

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26 Comments  comments 

26 Responses

  1. Santa

    I hope more of these open! Especially on 4th!

  2. Torta Lover

    You had me totally in agreement with you about “does santa ana need another hipster restaurant” and than you list about 50 spot where you can get a torta in SA. Suddenly, I thought, yea, SA needs more variety which in this case would be hipster restaurants.

  3. Gissy

    What’s going on with 4th st? Seems like bit our culture is being pushed away from Downtown Santa Ana little by little

  4. elserracho

    This is some classic curmudgeoning here, boss. Some of your best work. I hope these hipsters get off your lawn someday.

  5. Broken vow

    I hear the Pedroza sandwich is nothing but baloney with expired mayo

  6. Gissy

    I also heard that the owner of the theater on 4th st next to Guadalajara is planning to turn it into a gay bar. A couple employees I know have told me the same. Who knows… Hopefully 4th St goes back to its original ways.

    • Carpetbagger

      I heard that the operators of the Mid-Towne Spa chain of Gay Bathhouses are seriously exploring a DTSA location. To see what kind of entertainment we’re talking about visit

      WARNING Website Not Safe For Work/Children.

      This could be what Gissy is talking about. I know that one of the principals lived or lives in Morrison Park he was said to be eyeing property near the artists village. These changes in zoning were to be included in Benavides proposed changes quietly.

      That would be something!

      • YES! You are both right! That has been the plan all along! GAY SANTA ANA! Orange County’s LARGEST BATH HOUSE! Keep on dreaming that you will have your fantasies come true with the gay theater and more gayness all around. The lies that you attempt to spread reveal what fantasies you hold. Get a room.

        • Carpetbagger

          I think it will be OC’s ONLY bathhouse.

          I believe you have to go to Long Beach or LA to find one.

          I think time will tell. For decades the idea has been to keep the daytime dollars in town, No one has succeeded so far, only a few years from now will we see the results. My guess is a HUGE bubble, lots of short term leases, increases in property values, followed by broken leases and shuttered buildings.

          The idea that all of a sudden DTSA is going to become a mecca for visitors? REALLY.

  7. Ben

    Too lazy to read the super-long list, what’s the best torta in downtown SA?

    • That one is a tough call. Yelp is useful in this regard. The links I provided are Yelp links.

      I like the tortas at El Pollo Norteno – but even the cheapest torta is better than a cold cut sandwich.

  8. Tom Waller

    You forgot Puerto Madero (1225 W 17th St
    Santa Ana, CA 92706) for it’s Chivito and Argentinian chorizo tortas.



    David Benavides promotional video about poverty and starvation among Santa Ana’s young people here:

    Doesn’t include anything about Gourmet sandwich shops!

  10. JDS

    Tortas from Taqueria Carniceria Tapatia at – 1118 W 1st St are cheap and delicious. Thanks me later.


    I see housing prices rise in Santa Ana are hipsters moving in.

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