The chefs at Los Cinco Puntos strive to correct the Americanized image of ground-beef tacos by marinating, braising, and frying a trove of traditional Mexican meats. Sizzling carne asada, spiced carnitas, and lengua, just to name a few, play starring roles in the eatery's authentic menu and get executive-producer credits for each movie made about the restaurant's quesadillas. Chefs roll these meaty specialties into burritos, layer them atop fluffy buns for their special tortas, or twist them in fried tortillas for perfectly crispy flautas. They also create tamales by the dozen, filling the husk-wrapped treats with a similar array of succulent meats.
El Nuevo Mariscos Tampico honors its namesake seaside city with a menu full of ocean-fresh seafood, from whole fried snapper and tilapia to plump, juicy grilled shrimp. Meals of oysters Rockefeller and lobster served with tiny monocles and spats satisfy appetites for fancy dinners, and plates of chicken mole or pork ribs in green sauce appeal to landlubbers. A drink menu full of fruity tropical drinks and Mexican beers pair perfectly with fish tacos and shrimp cocktails.
Los Tacos founder Fidel Leos mined his experience as a maitre d’ and memories of his childhood south of the border to design Los Taco’s menu of authentic Mexican fare. Fillings such as shredded beef and fresh red snapper stuff the restaurant’s namesake tacos, and chefs also sling specialty steak dishes such as grill-kissed carne asada and lightly breaded milanesa onto waiting plates. Early birds dig into Mexican breakfasts such as chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, and meat-free forks can excavate a variety of vegetarian fare.
The culinary pyromaniacs at El Vaquero pay homage to their homeland with poncho-patterned tablecloths, pictures of the cathedral in Guadalajara, and a specialty sandwich hailing from the state of Jalisco. Seated in the wicker chairs that line the cozy, sun-colored dining room, diners dig into a menu that features classic Mexican dishes such as chiles relleno, carnitas burritos, and tacos that can be ordered soft or crisped over the grill. Meanwhile, traditional art and black-and-white photographs look down from the walls, and a bell hangs by the register in case tongues are in need of a tiny fireman.