The chefs at Baja Joe's Mexican Cantina prepare seafood in the style of Sinaloa, a region of northwestern Mexico that flanks the Pacific Ocean. That coastal influence is especially evident in dishes such as the campechana especial?a medley of scallops, oysters, octopus, and shrimp served inside of a coconut shell?or whole red snapper, cooked with white wine, olives, and bay leaves and served by Poseidon at the end of a trident. Chefs also grill traditional Mexican combinations of carnitas, steak, and chicken, in addition to preparing veggie dishes. The cantina's 1,200-square-foot patio makes an ideal setting to sip a specialty margarita, such as the La Pinta, mixed with pomegranate-infused tequila, while their newly expanded 2,600-square-foot sports cantina boasts eleven flat-screen televisions, pool tables, darts, music, live music and karaoke nights, and more.
Z-Lantro decorates plates with fryer-free fare inspired by Mexican taco stands. Rather than starting meals with a ritualistic belly dance, guests can peruse a menu filled with four types of meat, eight kinds of salsa, and a host of hearty breakfast items. Carne asada tacos orbit tables on 6-inch tortilla saucers festooned with cabbage and cilantro. Grande quesadillas sizzle with grilled chicken or traditional al pastor pork, and pico de gallo and a rich sauce made according to a secret family recipe passed down by a secret relative smother enchiladas. Crispy burrito bowls burst with refried beans, mexican rice, and creamy guacamole dressing, ready to be crunchified at will by chips and salsa.
Serrano’s extensive menu features a full spread of authentic Mexican appetizers, enchiladas, fajitas, sandwiches, and more. Make the flavorful most of the preprandial course with a combo mini appetizer platter, a delectable spread of beef flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and stuffed jalapeños ($9.50). For the prand itself, diners can avail their faces of house specialties such as the machaca, shredded beef or chicken with chili, tomatoes, onions, rice, and beans saddled up next to a posse of flour tortillas ($9.75). Seafood lovers, and people who once dropped an engagement ring into the ocean and are searching for it one fish at a time, can explore the seafood favorites, such as the diverse Del Mar Sampler, featuring a shrimp enchilada, halibut steak, and garlic shrimp served with rice and Mexican-style veggies ($14.95).
Accomplished executive chef Geoff Alter crafts a menu of Mexican dishes prepared from scratch on a daily basis within a casual setting. Whether dining in or carrying out, diners can sip from spoonfuls of chicken-tortilla soup or crunch on tortilla chips served with queso or guacamole. For a main course, the sweet pork burrito wears a handcrafted couture tortilla dress, which encases melted cheese, black or pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and one of three piquant sauces. Enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas can each confine a selection of grilled steak, sweet pork, or grilled chicken within their soft, floury exteriors. Many dishes are gluten free, including all enchiladas, tacos, and salads.
The restaurant's interior pulses with surf videos and interviews with sharks that play on flat-panel televisions, and vivacious music dances out from the speakers and into the ears of munching diners. Costa Vida takes nutrition and taste seriously?the website offers a nutrition calculator that tallies calories, cholesterol, protein, and oxygen content.
Victoria Chavez and husband Eddie each inherited a chili grinder, or “Molino,” from their families. Today, the two Molinos sit on display at the restaurant, but behind the scenes the family keeps the spicy tradition alive, using working chili grinders to create fiery dishes from New Mexico chiles.