Chefs at La Escondida slather authentic Mexican dishes, such as pork milanesa and enchiladas, in three signature salsas: Red Bear, Black Mamba, and Diablo. Colorful South American decorations adorn the restaurant, enlivening dining experiences and events such as Sunday-afternoon karaoke. A patio with red-clothed tables hosts patrons for alfresco meals, and a flat-screen TV broadcasts sports events and miming competitions subtitled in Spanish.
Off the Hook Mexican Seafood Grill turns to the ocean for inspiration, substituting salsa for saltwater to create dishes that evoke the Mexican coastline. The seaside breeze that dances across the outdoor patio sets the mood for plates of grilled rockfish, golden-fried prawns, and tacos stuffed with tender lobster and salmon. Similarly, seafood burritos replace the traditional steak and chicken with grilled shrimp and the traditional tortilla with a fried navigational chart.
Recognized by the Ventura County Star for trading hands between five generations since 1936, Familia Diaz has evolved with changing tastes to dish out classic yet modern Mexican fare. Within the historic eatery, family recipes and in-house soothsayers dictate the construction of signature tacos, burritos, fajitas, and other south-of-the-border staples. Exposed bricks, emerald vines, and exotic accents including a colorful Mexican cart feed eyes and recall the pastoral architecture in Mexico. A lounge nestled under a semicircular window, lined with mosaic tiles, sets a tropical scene for sipping signature cocktails and sampling a colossal list of tequilas. In the evenings, the glossy wooden bar blazes to life like a birthday cake for a giant sequoia under the glow of a mounted TV.
Over the last 45 years, thickets of ivy have climbed their way above the pink façade of Los Toros Mexican Restaurant, where the Montano family has been sharing its family recipes since 1967. Inside, aromas from the eatery's signature bean dip, burritos, enchiladas, and steaks waft past wall murals and mosaics that color multiple rooms including a garden patio, a dining area with big plush booths, and a bar dressed in printed tiles. Here, live musical acts coerce toes into tapping as a balloonist twists oxygen into a menagerie of animal shapes and presidential beards. Bartenders enhance the festive environment, which won a viewers' choice award from Best of LA TV in 2011, with 11 beers on tap and more than 60 different types of tequila that pour into signature margaritas.
A pleasing jumble of bright warm colors welcomes patrons as they enter Salsa and Beer, where the kitchen turns out myriad Mexican favorites. Bean dip and salsa—always complimentary—flow freely with chips, and the chefs integrate housemade red and green sauces into tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. A huge sun painted on the ceiling watches down on patrons as they eat on painted tables, slicing into deep-fried chimichangas or chipotle-chicken flautas. Hues of lime green, pink, and orange occupy the walls and window paintings in the dining room, and a patio in the front is separated from the street by sculpted wooden barriers, whether in the shape of cacti or a wide sun.