Hummingbird House Cafe. 26711 Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano. 949.443.5090. www.hummingcafe.com.
It’s hard to beat the environment at Hummingbird House—right at the mouth of Los Rios Street, it’s as easy to people watch as it is to get lost in the ambiance of the open-air patio. But it’s also fair to say that the food upstages even the setting.
The Mediterranean menu offers dozens of fresh salads, sandwiches and soups, but the lamb gyro is a house specialty. A fluffy pita, slightly sweet and slightly salty, is packed with fresh and crisp lettuce, onion and tomato. It’s all a bed for succulent strips of lamb and herbaceous tzatziki sauce.
The lamb was perfectly succulent, and though all gaminess had been removed, there lingered the pleasant earthiness that makes lamb such a treat. The tzatziki sauce was cool and creamy, while also snappy with acidic green herb and simple, bright seasoning.
With a side kale salad dressed in Greek dressing, it was a simple meal to finish quicker than you’d hoped—which is all the more reason to go back.