Elegant white plates serve as the canvases for Pacifica Seafood & Bar’s decadent undersea feasts, holding artfully presented helpings of everything from tuna Shanghai to shrimp quesadillas. Diners enjoy fish tacos, 12-ounce skirt steaks, and roasted chicken amid expansive windows overlooking a picturesque mountainous view. Though it sounds swanky, the restaurant pulses with relaxed vibes, with colorful writing and drawings scribbled across the white walls and bartenders pouring drinks directly into patron's mouths. Bottles of Indio beer fuel game-watching sessions around one of six high-definition televisions, or cool off games of full-contact charades played on the outdoor patio.
San Miguel Restaurant charms peckish patrons with authentic Mexican fare and a convivial atmosphere. Customers get two nonalcoholic beverages (a $3.50 value) and two lunch buffets (a $19.98 value), which spicy up sluggish taste buds with the best-selling favorite, tortas ahogadas. This so-called “drowned sandwich” submerges tortas in chipotle and a sea of cream sauce, enabling them to gather intelligence about hostile hoagies. Traditional chili rellenos stuffs plump peppers and souses them in a selection of savory sauces. Like a 128-pack of crayons, the buffet offers an array of other colorful options irresistible to starving artists, such as mexican rice, beans with cheese and chili, breaded potatoes, tortilla soup, and peppery red- and green-chili stews.
Mar Y Sol serves authentic Mexican cuisine culled from recipes perfected over generations on sun-drenched shores. Patrons investigate a menu full of finger-tempting appetizers such as the chipotle guacamole made with hand-mashed avocados, chipotle chilies, and goat cheese ($8), as well as time-honored tacos without their time-honored lettuce ponchos ($8–$9). Captivating seafood dishes count the filete al mojo de ajo, a cutlet of fish resting over a bed of white rice and chipotle mashed potatoes swathed in garlic gravy ($11). The tostadas de atún arrange thinly sliced tuna coalescing in a pineapple marinade for a flavor as harmonious as a peace pipe hollowed out of angel-food cake ($10). For midday munching, Mar Y Sol features a lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in which customers navigate a $10.45 prix fixe menu with their choice of a soft drink, cup of soup, appetizer, and entree.
When Consuelo and David Forti built Forti's Mexican Elder Restaurant in 1976, they meant for its single dining room to take up only a small amount of the land needed for their body-and-glass-shop business. However, dishes inspired by the recipes of Consuelo's grandmother soon attracted so many customers that the restaurant expanded three times, until it could hold up to 250 people. Beneath an ornate wrought-iron chandelier, servers deliver entrees that include camarones Consuelo—jumbo shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon—as well as combination plates with tacos, enchiladas, and chili rellenos alongside charbroiled steaks and fresh ceviche. The whitewashed walls' recessed arches frame bright paintings of Mexican landmarks and twirling dancers in colorful dresses. Behind the full bar, bartenders mix 15 signature margaritas and one signature cassette tape of love songs, in addition to filling pint glasses with domestic and imported brews.
First serving up traditional Mexican eats in 1952, Avila’s Mexican Food has been supervised and staffed by four generations of Avilas intent on preserving their family’s recipes for delicious enchiladas, chicken mole, and their famous chili con queso. Most dishes start off with a flour tortilla base, which can then be outfitted with a choice of meat, toppings, and spicy drizzlings of mole, guacamole, or red or green chili sauce. Each dinner plate comes with two sugarcoated sopaipillas, which take the sting out of spicy dishes, much like a lickable epi-pen. The shop’s waiters serve traditional Mexican breakfast all day long, allowing leniency for late wakers and patrons whose roosters are stuck flashing 12:00.:m]]
El Parque, located in the Las Palmas Marketplace, serves up a variety of antojitos—Mexican street foods that usually incorporate masa dough and savory meats. Cooks pile tacos and sopes with shredded chicken, mexican barbacoa, and other proteins, garnishing each dish with toppings such as bean spread or green chilies. The menu also includes dishes such as crisp baja fish tacos and charbroiled chicken in piquant poblano mole sauce. Servers mix daiquiris, margaritas accented with mini Coronas, and other drinks at the bar.