The family responsible for the rise of Casa Del Rey has been designing Mexican eats worthy of kings since 1972. Every day, chefs whip up house-made chips and salsa, stacking them alongside meals prepared in 100% canola oil without the presence of harmful substances such as trans fats, MSG, or radioactive beans. Whether catering for large groups or reloading the restaurant's tables, they tackle traditional dishes such as huevos rancheros, chili Colorado, and specialty burritos, and they also prepare fresh and hearty salads for health-conscious consumers. Both Casa Del Rey locations have full bars with domestic and imported beer, margaritas, and house alcoholic and nonalcoholic smoothies. The Sierra Madre shop welcomes private diners to a small banquet room and claims territory out on the sidewalk, where patrons can savor their meals while celebrating man's invention of sunshine.
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.
In 1981, siblings Enrique and Alicia Ramirez opened a small street-side taco stand and began to re-create the dishes of their childhood. The duo grew up in Los Angeles, although their family’s roots were in Guadalajara, the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Everything was always made from scratch in the Ramirez household, including tortillas, salsas, beans, and ornamental doilies, so Enrique and Alicia made sure to uphold these DIY traditions at their eatery, Señor Fish.
In the last three decades, Señor Fish has expanded to include seven popular locations throughout LA, each earning regular praise from local media. Yet the siblings are still just as involved in the restaurants' daily operations, captaining kitchen crews as they fold freshly caught seafood into burritos, tacos, and ceviches.
Housed in the Little Tokyo branch of Señor Fish, La Cantina Tequila & Botanas Bar is the restaurant's lounge counterpart, with an extensive selection of premium tequilas and mezcals that complements small plates of tacos, tostadas, and taquitos. Guests linger over sips of Mexican beers on the spacious back patio, which twinkles beneath colorful strings of hanging lights. The cantina also regularly hosts a tequila class in which renowned mixologist David Fleisher leads students through tequila tastings, margarita recipes, and the creation of tequila-based sauces. Other nights, the bar opens its patio to DJed festivities, DJed dance parties, and DJed quilting races.
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.
Though it sounds like a mixed drink, the campechana cocktail is actually a meal. Diners spear shrimp, octopus, and chunks of white abalone as they swim in cocktail sauce flavored with avocado and cilantro. The seafood stew is just one of Cabrera’s house specialties, which populate nearly half of the Mexican eatery’s menu. Other specialty dishes include steak ranchero, marinated sirloin served alongside grilled cactus and jalapeños, and salmon con salsa de arandano, a fresh, pan-roasted fish steeped in cranberry chipotle sauce. Traditionalists can take comfort in the eateries’ abidance to serving food on plates rather than mini hovercrafts, and south-of-the-border staples such as mole-drenched chicken and burritos blanketed with melted cheese.