El Tapatio's chefs invest in their kitchen's culinary culture, prepping authentic Mexican platters that range from chimichangas to the impressive super burrito. Though they specialize in a repertoire of steak, chicken, and seafood dishes, they extend the culinary invitation to veggies with meat-free meals. The cantina side of the restaurant mixes citrusy libations—including margaritas, daiquiris, and piña coladas—that counterbalance the spicy salsas and the wounded pride of losing a salsa-guzzling competition.
The chefs at Tres Potrillos are perfectly in tune with the dozens of Mexican dishes that have been enjoyed for generations. They pile pork, shrimp, and chorizo into big and extrabig burritos, top enchiladas with fresh green tomatillo sauce, and craft specialty tacos with wheat tortillas and avocado-cilantro sauce made in-house. If you're in the mood for steak, they've got it cooked with Jalisco-style sauce, grilled up with chicken, or buried in shrimp and melted cheese. To wash down feasts and to help you break the ice with all those balloon animals that show up for Kids Night Thursdays, the bartenders hand out daiquiris, sangria, margaritas, and Coronas.
Within Casa Del Rio's warm orange walls, chefs cobble together fresh meats, vegetables, and seafood to forge authentic Mexican lunch and dinner specialties. They douse shrimp in Diablo hot sauce, stuff flautas with shredded beef and chicken, or slice up grilled steak to accessorize with bacon, ham, and poblano peppers. Traditional and frozen margaritas drench adult palates, and a kids' menu entices tots with both Mexican and American classics. A kaleidoscope of colored tables scatters across the family-friendly dining room, which features vibrant artwork and rustic brick barrel vaults, and televisions above the bar entertain guests with sports games and newscasts acted out through interpretive dance.
At El Jalapenos, servers bustle between tables and through kitchen doors carrying plates of queso fundido, chicken fajitas, and carnitas. Here, armed with margaritas and overstuffed burritos, guests can savor a Mexican meal that's as relaxing as a nap underneath a warm tortilla blanket. Slice into carne asada or La Oaxaquena—grilled steak served with poblano peppers, bacon, ham, cheese, beans, and rice. Or, grab a tortilla filled with pork al pastor, stir-fried peppers, and refried beans. El Jalapeno has vegetarian options, too, including spinach enchiladas and cheese quesadillas.
Los Jalapenos cofounders Gustavo Salazar and Walter Eguez fill their menu with revamped family recipes from Mexico and South America. They marinate pork ribs with a tequila-based chipotle barbecue sauce, stuff shrimp in chimichangas, and serve the house special burrito with a side of cheese for dipping. Salazar and Eguez also put their own twist on American dishes, topping the southwest fiesta pizza with cheese dip, chicken, and pico de gallo and crafting a macho burger out of 10 layers—roughly the thickness of a college dorm-room mattress—including a beef patty, chicken breast, chorizo, bacon, and cheese dip.
A colorful mural of a lakeside beach stretches across Casita del Lago's dining room?a nod to the restaurant's name, which translates to "little house by the lake." Soft hanging lanterns and a crackling fireplace bathe the room in light, illuminating the colorful glazed pottery that lines the walls. In the kitchen, chefs chop fresh ingredients for the homemade salsa that glazes over traditional dishes, as saucepans simmer with their signature mole sauce. Behind a sprawling bar, bartenders dole out pitchers of fruity margaritas, savory sangria, and bottles of imported Mexican beer. Outside, tabletops speckle their outdoor patio and bar, where guests can bask beneath the sunlight.