Los Tacos founder Fidel Leos mined his experience as a maitre d’ and memories of his childhood south of the border to design Los Taco’s menu of authentic Mexican fare. Fillings such as shredded beef and fresh red snapper stuff the restaurant’s namesake tacos, and chefs also sling specialty steak dishes such as grill-kissed carne asada and lightly breaded milanesa onto waiting plates. Early birds dig into Mexican breakfasts such as chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, and meat-free forks can excavate a variety of vegetarian fare.
The culinary pyromaniacs at El Vaquero pay homage to their homeland with poncho-patterned tablecloths, pictures of the cathedral in Guadalajara, and a specialty sandwich hailing from the state of Jalisco. Seated in the wicker chairs that line the cozy, sun-colored dining room, diners dig into a menu that features classic Mexican dishes such as chiles relleno, carnitas burritos, and tacos that can be ordered soft or crisped over the grill. Meanwhile, traditional art and black-and-white photographs look down from the walls, and a bell hangs by the register in case tongues are in need of a tiny fireman.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
Although they specialize in cuisine from across the southern border, the chefs at Lupita's also craft many of their Mexican delicacies with ingredients from across another border: the one between land and sea. They fill enchiladas with crabmeat, toss shrimp in a spicy ranchera sauce, and roll grilled, boneless tilapia fillets in flour tortillas with bell pepper, onion, and tomato. To round out the menu, this culinary team whips up other Mexican staples, such as chili relleno, beef or chicken taquitos, and burritos filled with ingredients such as chorizo and chicken asada.
Steven Paperno, raised in the kitchen of his parents' delicatessen, has been working with food all his life. By the age of 18, he already owned a food manufacturing company, a job that took him all over the Americas. While in Central and South America, he sampled some of the cuisine and found himself dreaming of bringing those small-village flavors to America. So, he sold his company in order to start a new one, one dedicated to infusing organic, local ingredients with the flavors he tasted abroad. He called the new joint Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill.
Inside any Sharky's location, the chefs use certified-organic beans and rice to complement flavorful Mexican entrees. Guests can observe cooks in the open kitchen as they prepare all-natural chicken with no added hormones and all-natural Angus beef. Wild-caught seafood is hand-selected for quality and chosen according to the recommendations of the West Coast Seafood Watch, which aims to prevent overfishing by encouraging restaurateurs to buy sustainably caught seafood. Mesquite grills and stone-fire ovens lend their kiss to each dish on the menu, locking in the flavor that Steven so wished to re-create without the hassles of a trashcan fire.
Doña Rosa Bakery & Taqueria serves up fresh, fast, and authentic Mexican favorites derived from owner Blair Salisbury's 100-year-old family recipes. Enjoy breakfast all day long with sweet baked goods ($1.30–$1.60), huevos rancheros ($7.10), or chilaquiles, a plate of scrambled eggs and crispy tortilla chips drenched in red or green sauce, queso fresco, and sour cream ($7.25). Domestic and imported beers ($3.50) or salt-garnished margaritas ($1.95–$4) wash down lunch and dinner burritos ($7.25) and tortas ($7.50) customized with an array of marinated meats, and vegetarian nachos ($7.75) sate those whose teeth tremble in anticipation for non-meated meals. Late-night shrimp soft tacos ($3.35) perfectly fit into mouth openings shaped like a shrimp soft taco and can be capped off with flan ($4).