Ornate paper flags and glimmering stars are suspended from Fiesta Ole Mexican Restaurant’s colorful, tiled walls, accenting plates of authentic Mexican dishes that appear from the cocina. Chefs crease tortillas into tacos, fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas while sautéing a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian specialties. Bartenders pour cups full of Mexican beers and cocktails as dinner conversations blossom at tables and booths in the cheerful dining room. The restaurant hosts regular salsa nights, offering diners a reprieve from trying to dance with strangers’ great danes at the dog park.
At Mexico Lindo, heaping plates of sizzling meats and authentic Mexican dishes—the recipes for which were gleaned during owner Jose Perez’s time spent training in Mexico—emerge from the kitchen and head toward red-checkered tables. Tantalizing aromas of fresh corn tortillas mingling with the salty fragrance of chorizo and marinated pork fill the air, and glasses overflow with beer and wine brought from each diner’s home or vestigial wine spigot. China poblana, Mexico Lindo’s speciality, submerges two enchiladas under traditional mole, and packs an additional two with marinated pork and Oaxaca cheese.
Housemade marinades infuse Tortuga's Mexican Restaurant’s meaty dishes with pops of flavor. Chefs drench fajitas’ skirt steak in a marinade and saturate creamy chipotle-chicken pieces in a smoky jalapeño cream sauce. Lime juice with cilantro and a spicy red chili also flavor meats, which are then stuffed inside a burrito, served on a bed of rice, or displayed on a fluffy pillow. Meat-free dishes include cheesy enchiladas and a trio of tacos filled with beans, cheese, and guacamole.
At El Sarape, the Marin family and their chefs eschew southwest and Tex-Mex recipes in favor of traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Housemade corn dough morphs into chicken sopes and tortilla wedges, which diners dip into nachos with chihuahua cheese and pico de gallo. The kitchen also serves chipotle mashed potatoes beside pork tenderloin in tomatillo sauce and prepares skewers of shrimp and scallops Mazatlán style. At the bar, patrons can sample an array of tequilas while admiring the paintings adorning the walls, from a mural of a pastoral countryside to a topographical map of Mexico’s fourth dimension.
Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.