When they opened Miguelito's Mexican Restaurant more than 15 years ago, Michael and Gabby Nevares poured their combined years of management expertise into an eatery focused on fun and flavor. Mexican and American favorites dot the menu, including fish or brisket tacos and queso flameado, a dish of jack cheese lit tableside to melt over shrimp, chorizo, or unpaid parking tickets. American-style chicken-fried steak contrasts with classic house-made tamales or lighter entrees of grilled tilapia with cilantro rice and plantains.
Though Michael passed away in 2004, his spirit lives on at Miguelito's. The man who has rubbed elbows with Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood would surely be proud to see the new M-Lounge area, which opened in 2009. Lit by funky, jeweled chandeliers, the space features six flat-screen TVs, large leather couches, and impressive karaoke equipment. Behind the full tiki-style bar lined with wrought-iron chairs, bartenders mix signature margaritas and pour imported and domestic brews into glasses or adult water balloons.
Los Jimadores is the Mexican term for the skilled farmers who cultivate the hearts (or piñas) of blue agave plants, so crucial to the production of tequila. These piñas can weigh anywhere from 40 to 200 pounds and require its harvester to answer a devilish riddle. It's not a job for the weak of arm, but the heavenly results of that labor can be tasted in Los Jimadores' signature margaritas, including the Herradura French margarita and coconut margarita. These drinks will find no shortage of dance partners on the expansive menu, which aims to cover all bases on both sides of the border: traditional tacos and enchiladas with homemade corn and flour tortillas, Tex-Mex chimichangas, guacamole made tableside, chorizo-laced breakfast omelets. The equally ambitious desserts offset fried ice cream with the pastel imposible, a gravity-flouting blend of flan and chocolate cake. Los Jimadores can also host parties of up to 80 people in a private room.
Since 2003, Costa Vida has been passing on their passion for food and life by infusing zest into every meal, made from scratch daily with fresh ingredients. With certified executive chef David Prows at the helm, the Costa Vida menu features fiesta favorites such as enchiladas ($3.99–$5.99), quesadillas ($3.99+), and nachos ($3.99+). Bite into a burrito bursting with cheese, cilantro lime rice, black or pinto beans, and your choice of sweet pork, grilled steak or chicken, shredded beef, raspberry chipotle chicken, chili verde, or vegetarian ($5.49+). Top it off with one of four savory signature sauces: mango, red enchilada, roasted green chili, or tomatillo cilantro (additional $0.99). Tantalizing tacos fold a hand-made tortilla into an envelope, containing a mouthful of a message that says te amo to tastebuds with shredded cheese, leafy greens, pico de gallo salsa, and preferred protein, and served with cilantro lime rice and black or pinto beans ($4.99–$5.99 for one).
Serving authentic Mexican cuisine splashed with flavors from the Baja Peninsula, Habanero's Fresh Mex offers a delicious menu filled with fresh, fiesta-worthy fare. After a half-dozen cream-cheese-filled and fried jalapeno poppers ($6.98) coax taste buds out of pre-consumption comas, diners can delight in a thin-crusted, 12-inch sweet pork pizza topped with pineapple, cilantro, and onions ($9.79) or the chili-rubbed steak of a Texito burrito ($8.29). The Baja-style fish tacos ($7.49) are a popular menu choice and feature beer-battered tilapia swaddled in two soft flour or double-layered corn tortillas quilts and served with cilantro rice and beans. Flan ($2.99) sweetens post-meal mouth-holes, and a bevy of beverages ($1.89–$2) moisturize parched palates with delectable dampness.
Orbs of freshly made dough chug along the lustrous metallic conveyor belts of Marquez Bakery and Tortilla Factory's enormous tortilla-making mechanism, polka-dotting the chainlink pathways as they're flattened, baked, and morphed into the eatery's trademark fare. The chefs at the family bakery load the disks with traditional Mexican meats, such as chorizo and chicharrón, by hand, whisper "goodbye" to each morsel, and send them off to catered events or the onsite restaurant. They also sate sweet teeth with meticulously constructed custom cakes, harking back to founder Jose Marquez's legacy of selling donuts, pies, and sweet bread from his own home.