Solo Mexican Cantina isn’t owner Lirim Jacobi’s first attempt at opening a restaurant. Actually, he has spent the past 30 years establishing well-received eateries. With this kind of pedigree, it's no surprise that Solo Mexican Cantina hits all the right notes when it comes to trend, yet casual dining—from the dimly lit dining room festooned with geometric décor and pops of bright color to the perfectly concise menu crafted by celebrity chef Carlos Badaraco Herrmann and Executive Chef Greg Backman.
The duo puts a gourmet twist on traditional Mexican cuisine, crowning tacos with shreds of sweet plantains and transforming run-of-the-mill guacamole into spicy avocado aioli. The chefs also whip up a gluten-free menu as well as margaritas by the glass, pitcher, and claw-foot bathtub. These south-of-the-border flavors help enhance the eatery's already-festive atmosphere, as do happy hours and live entertainment.
Caliente Kitchen blends a lively menu of zesty south-of-the-border bites with an alluring part-restaurant, part-nightclub atmosphere. For starters, guests can occupy a gabby tongue with a gift of made-to-order guacamole ($12) before crunching into a piquant plate of veggie tacos, loaded down with peppers, onion, mushrooms, and fresco cheese, and accompanied by rice and beans ($10). The enchiladas de mole verde invigorates lethargic appetites, making relishable ripples on a sea of taste buds with tangy green mole sauce soaked into tortillas rolled around pulled pork or chicken-breast stuffing ($14). Prepared with chicken ($15), pork ($16), or steak ($17), a traditional mexicano burrito brings meat, beans, and pico de gallo to meet cheese and sour cream, a mouthwatering mashup that ends in tragedy shortly after the five ingredients start getting along.
It's been more than two decades since the Contreras-Benitez family opened the doors of Casa Linda Restaurante, and their dining room is as packed as ever.?Their enduring success might be due to the generous portions of Mexican and Spanish cuisine they serve, with plates ranging from sizzling steak fajitas to savory costillas de puerco?tender pork ribs. Or perhaps diners flock for specials such as 99-cent margaritas on Tuesdays, or live mariachi music on Wednesdays. Whatever the reason, Casa Linda Restaurante has become a go-to destination for guests looking for warming meals or an escape from their scary kitchen.
When a young reporter from Kulinary Kidd asked owners Jorge and Marco what distinguished La Fiesta Café from fast-food taco joints, they chuckled. "We prepare everything fresh," Jorge explained. "We make everything every morning—our beans, our rice, everything. We don't have anything delivered or canned." Authentic tacos norteños packed with grilled steak, sautéed shrimp, and al pastor pork remain their bread and butter, but the cafe's skilled chefs also fold these freshly made components into plump burritos and lean, street-style tacos—or craft other Mexican specialties such as sweet mole chicken. For their signature guacamole, the culinary gurus grind up fresh tomato, avocado, and onions in a traditional molcajete.
Vivid Warhol-style paintings of Frida Kahlo speckle the green walls of the dining room, where diners sit on antique-style wooden chairs and clink fruity margaritas. Others bask in the fresh air out on the front patio, soaking up sunshine or boldly challenging passersby to hair-growing competitions.
Fine Mexican Food at a whole other level! Walk in the door and you're greeted by freindly hellos and the tantalizing aroma of mesquite grilled fajitas. Freshness is the key - salsa made fresh every day, hand picked avacados used to create fresh guacamole throughout the day. And every dish is made to order just for you.