Meals from across Mexico have filled Estrellita Restaurant's menu since 1958. Veracruz-style tilapia fillets, topped with an herb-laced tomato sauce, join Vallarta-style tostadas, whose crispy corn tortillas don chicken, guacamole, salsa fresca, and sour cream. Chicken also marinates in Oaxacan spices or simmers in house-made mole sauce, whose intricate recipe includes more than 38 ingredients. Behind the bar, hand-squeezed lime and lemon juices flavor margaritas garnished with salt and slices of lime. For dessert, the kitchen whips up flan from a family recipe passed down by osmosis.
The chefs at Red Pepper Grill blend Mexican and California cuisines on a solid menu backed up with a full bar. Diners can kick off meals with house tortilla chips and salsa made fresh daily. Appetizer selections include gooey chicken quesadillas or nachos coated in cheese, beans, sour cream, and guacamole. House special entrees include crisp flautas, rolled corn tortillas that are stuffed with shredded meat. Chile verde burritos swim in a green sauce with rice and beans, and the enchilada Mazatlan holds prawns sautéed in a garlic sauce and topped with melted jack cheese. The heat of salsas, spicy marinades, and memories of family tire-fires can be quenched by a huge list of margaritas, wine, beer, and tequila.
When it first opened in 1979, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill was a simple taqueria in Los Angeles. Its open kitchen gave patrons a front-row seat to watch chefs transform fresh ingredients into bold, memorable Mexican dishes. Today, the original concept has evolved into a booming franchise, but each location works on the same principle: add a modern twist to classic Mexican food. Chefs continue to work in an open-kitchen environment where they concoct seven types of homemade salsas?laced with ingredients such as fire-roasted roma tomatoes, cilantro and garlic, and even mango?to complement carne asada tacos, Los Cabos shrimp burritos, and hefty bowls packed with chicken, fire-roasted veggies, and plenty of cheese. The kitchen crew also assembles large breakfasts of eggs and chorizo, as well as huevos rancheros for early risers.
The red-brick counter inside Los Altos Taqueria serves as the hub of activity, the place where guests order anything from tacos to tamales, watch chefs stuff tortillas with the requested meats, and eat the traditional Mexican dishes at one of the stools lined along the counter’s perimeter. A selection of nine meats, including fried pork, beef tongue, and barbecue chicken, fill burritos, rest atop nachos, and snuggle in enchiladas. The popular quesadilla suiza hides meat, cheese, and salsa between two tortillas, whereas fajitas boast a smorgasbord of rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, grilled veggies, and either chicken or beef. Meals are complemented with housemade beverages such as margaritas and micheladas—a Mexican beer prepared with lime juice and assorted sauces and spices.