REVIEW: Johnny Pacific

Within a strip mall in Winnetka, a Food 4 Less and Seven Eleven are accompanied by the scent of filled to the brim, crunchy and evenly cooked empanadas that would lure almost anyone passing by into the restaurant.

Johnny Pacific is an A rated fast casual family-owned restaurant. The staff provide a laid back, playful and comfortable environment.

The most notable decorations within Johnny Pacific’s four walls are the surfboards attached to the walls and a kayak hanging from the ceiling above the cash register. A global map is hung next to the entrance with string lights carefully strung on its surface. Instant visions of the beach have made their presence known.

As an empanada is being consumed, pop, Latin and chill music flows throughout the restaurant at a calm and welcoming noise level.

With over 20 items on their menu, Johnny Pacific offers crunchy yet creamy vegetarian and meat options.

Their grilled corn empanada that houses grilled corn, roasted poblano chiles, beautifully browned onion, parmesan and jack cheese is crisp and fulfilling.

The roasted vegetable filling is evenly flavored with onion and garlic. Asparagus, sweet Dutch red peppers, carrots and onions that have been gracefully bathed in olive oil and garlic.

Rich and flavorful is the best way to describe the spinach and cheese pocket. Sautéed baby spinach with garlic lays within a blanket of mozzarella and philly cream cheese inside of its warm and smooth walls.

To solve that unsatisfied sweet tooth, the seasonal pumpkin empanada that is lightly dusted with powdered sugar contains the gooey filling of the classic pumpkin pie.

The banana Nutella empanadas are quite sweet and melt within your ingesting cavity, which makes them dangerously addictive. 

To top off each serving, sauces are provided. They offer chimichurri, basil aioli, chipotle, house barbecue, sweet and sour and caramel sauces.

With all of this chewing, a beverage of some sort is a must. Johnny Pacifics’ menu includes watermelon, pineapple, lemonade and guava-aide aguas frescas. Soft drinks, such as Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Inca Cola are also made available. Bottled water, Tapo Chico, Mexican Cole and mandarin or tamarind Jarritos can also be purchased. 

Bringing a book or something to work on while enjoying the atmosphere is nothing to be frowned upon. Going alone, with a friend or two or even with a large group of people can easily be accommodated with their long, large wooden tables.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Phone: (818) 885-6927

Location: 20133 Saticoy Street

Winnetka, CA 91306