Named after the owner’s oldest daughter, Jocy's Mexican Restaurant has brought authentic Mexican food in a family environment since 2007. Upscale twists on fajitas, flautas, and carne asada bedeck round tables and rectangular booths, which are surrounded by butter-yellow walls, hanging lamps, and Mexican-inspired artwork.
For Ali Saleh, the chef who owns Taqueria 2 Palmas, a great meal isn't just about sustenance. It's a performance meant to entertain and intrigue. That's why restaurants and live music make such as dynamic duo. When Ali bought his first storefront on East Tulare Street, he immediately built a stage so the restaurant could also host concerts. These days, his 24-hour eatery teems with mariachi bands that serenade guests with romantic ballads and vibrant pasodobles. The sultry sizzles of hot plates chime in as servers deliver chicken fajitas and Tampiquena-style steaks to nearby tables. In contrast, shrimp cocktails and fresh oysters are as cool as an igloo full of Elvis impersonators. To fuel morning exploits such as newspaper crosswords and WiFi surfing, the restaurant also serves huevos rancheros and other hearty Mexican breakfasts.
Raul and Maria Gutierrez were raised on fajitas in their native Mexico, where many families raise their own chickens and make tortillas by hand. After honing their culinary skills in several Houston restaurants, the couple chased their dreams to Fresno, where Fajita Fiesta was born. Instead of sprouting from a pinto bean, the eatery sprang from one of the Gutierrez’s favorite dishes: tacos al carbon, a union of handcrafted tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, and charbroiled steak, chicken, or pork. Made fresh every hour, the tortillas serve as a canvas for creativity by exhibiting savories such as grilled shrimp, onions, and poblano peppers. For deep-fried fare such as chimichangas and sopapillas, Raul and Maria use canola oil to minimize saturated fat. Margaritas add a heady kick to the evening's festivities, and horchatas end meals on a sweet cinnamon note, with textures smoother than a freshly shorn saxophone. The kitchen also caters feasts for a variety of events, filling bellies with hearty chicken moles and bite-size eats such as mini taquitos.
Owner Rosalinda Tovar delights Fresno-area eaters with a menu of authentic, award-winning Mexican cuisine. On weekends, patrons can partake of the accolade-earning menudo, a hominy-and-tripe soup ($6.25 for a small bowl). Many a blushing taste bud has fallen prey to the tamales, a seductive selection of pork, chicken, or beef wrapped within a tailored waistcoat of fresh corn masa and an elegant corn-husk dinner jacket ($10.95 for a plate of two). The fajitas deluxe showcases a sizzling triumvirate of beef, chicken, and shrimp with mixed veggies, guacamole, and sour cream ($14.95). For chronic coin-flippers, the list of combination plates stumps the stodgiest statisticians with its overwhelming set of flavor coefficients (up to $10.95). All entrees come with rice and beans.
The chefs at Los Pepe's blend spices and sway flames to sear the chicken, steak, and seafood showcased in their authentic Mexican cuisine. Extensive menu options tempt diners to test premeal might by ascending a mountain of nachos laden with cheese ravines, guacamole-capped peaks, and abominable snowmen masquerading as sour cream ($6.95). Warmed up mandibles can take on specialties such as the carne asada ($11.95) or the camarón a la diabla, a sizzling mound of sautéed shrimp, peppers, and mushrooms slathered in a fiery sauce ($13.95). Tortilla whisperers also wrap nine varieties of burritos and chimichangas ($4.95+), including a vegetarian burrito festooned with tomatoes and cilantro ($5.95). Imported beer ($3.75), wine by the glass ($4.25), and margaritas ($4.50), help temper heat by forming a fire line and dousing patrons with buckets of water.