Mundo boasts an innovative menu of upscale Mexican fare conceived by their award-winning Yucatán-born chef, Robert Solano. Start with a refreshing ahi-tuna tostada ($14) and scoop the sushi-grade snack into your fish-famished mouth, or sip spoonfuls of the spicy cumin-enhanced poblano-chile corn soup ($8) with traditional garnishes. Succulent entrees will transport your taste buds back to the summer spent stowed away in the kitchen of an upscale cruise boat based in Puerto Vallarta, because a sample of the sweet chipotle-glazed shrimp tamale ($24), drizzled with red-chile brandy sauce and queso-fresco relish, will bring on food-triggered flashbacks. Flaunt an order of the tender filet mignon of kurobuta pork ($26), glazed with an ancho-chile and mango sauce, at the late-night water cooler or indulge your steaktooth with the 16 oz. strip-steak mixed grill ($34), served with grilled fresh veggies, applewood smoked bacon, and roasted salsa.
The freezer cases in Casa Don Juan's kitchen make great echo chambers. They stand almost empty because the crew crafts the menu of traditional Mexican dishes exclusively with fresh, never-frozen ingredients.
Frida Kahlo prints peer down on diners as they chow down on plates of cheese-stuffed chili rellenos, cheese enchiladas, and beans. Plato Casa Don Juan, with its heaping portions of pork chops or chicken breast with mexican sausage, rice, and cactus salad, provides patrons with an ideal place to hide their favorite lucky pennies.
Festive streamers of colorful cutouts flutter above Casa Don Juan's jumbo Cadillac margaritas, which brim with tequila, Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy's mix, and Grand Marnier. Standing tall in the middle of the dining room, a thatch-roof bar houses a chorus of liquors and Mexican pottery, and a kaleidoscopic array of gleaming plates lines the bright-yellow walls to memorialize the chef's blank canvas.
The Original Lindo Michoacan takes its name from the Mexican state where owner Javier Barajas was born and raised. As a young man, Javier attended a seminary school. There, he befriended a nun named Sister Anita who taught him the recipes and culinary traditions of Michoacan cuisine. Those regional techniques have helped the Zagat-rated restaurant earn one of the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Best of Las Vegas awards for eight years including a 2012 Reader's Pick for Best Mexican Restaurant. Those lessons shine through in dishes such as Pollo con Tomate Estilo—a sautéed mix of chicken breast, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and spices inspired by the town of Zirahuen—or the Birria de Chivo—a traditional festival dish of fresh goat meat cooked in dried chiles and beer instead of water. Hundreds of tequilas populate the shelves of a full bar, and on weekends, festive mariachi bands sing traditional melodies or passages from Atlas Shrugged
Chefs at Abuela's Tacos pair made-to-order tortillas with eight styles of meats to craft satisfyingly simple, authentic Mexican dishes. Abuela’s versatile tortillas transform into tacos (starting at $2.50), burritos (starting at $5.50), quesadillas ($4.50), or chips and salsa ($1.75). Any of Abuela's protein-based meal anchors can find respite in the restful wrap of a soft tortilla or the firm embrace of its toasted cousin. Abuela's tenderly grills its asada with perfectly measured seasoning to produce succulent, seasoned juices. Cooked for 3.5 hours, barbacoa challenges the world's best boyfriends with its tender disposition, smoldering charm, and unusually long primping time. Customers who color inside the lines can order grilled chicken or venture beyond the border with Abuela's popular lengua (cow tongue). The al pastor marinates in sweet spices and imparts its tender taste to saccharin-savoring teeth. Top-selling chicharron verde simmers on the stovetop for an hour before being swaddled in a tortilla, garnished with chili verde and plated. Breaded and fried fish or shrimp can festoon each of the three entree choices ($.99 extra on tacos or burritos). Bowls ($5.50) can substitute for tortillas where carbohydrates are not welcome.
La Fogata Cafe & Restaurant tantalizes taste buds with a menu of spicy Mexican cuisine balanced with American classics. Snack on the cheese-and-corn pairing of chilis rellenos, whose onion-stuffed poblano peppers dip their toes in egg batter then belly-flop into a frying pan full of tomato sauce ($6.75). Sautéed shrimp lounge quietly in garlic and a citrus-chipotle tomato sauce in the Devil's Tail ($8.99), and weekend barbecue-rib stacks double as mouth xylophones when chewed in the right order ($7.99). After strolling into La Fogata’s dining room, patrons can converse around alabaster tables and peer up at archways inlaid with sculpted swirls and spirals that hide a secret hot-sauce recipe in a language only dolphins understand.
At Baja Fresh, spice-yearning patrons can swing by to sample comforting casual fare without the hassle of building a catapult powerful enough to reach Mexico. Grab a burrito or taco served inside the stuffed blanket of a tortilla, or get a bowlful of delectable insides with the shell-less version—or a combination of both. The meats that make up each meal are never frozen and are all natural and hormone free. Optional ingredients to lay the groundwork for handheld feasts include fire-grilled or charbroiled chicken and steak, slow-roasted pork carnitas, beans and cheese, and specialty seafood options; a vegetarian-friendly version includes peppers, chilies, and onions layered with freshly simmered beans, cheese, and pico de gallo.