Just a short trip from the epicenter of the organic-food movement, Sonoma Latina Grill compels its guests to travel back to a time when meats and vegetables were grown on small farms and cooked within miles of their origins. The kitchen sources all of its ingredients from local suppliers, whose fertile soils spawn the fresh fruits and veggies needed to forge the restaurant's signature Latin dishes. From breakfast until dinner, chefs stuff tacos and fashion their homemade, preservative-free flour tortillas into meaty burritos or origami sombreros. Sonoma Latina Grill also caters special events such as weddings and large parties.
Since 1979, Casa Mañana Restaurant has served up authentic Mexican and Salvadoran dishes from scratch, making it one of Marin County's oldest family-owned Mexican eateries. All-day breakfasts, such as huevos rancheros and fajitas omelets, arrive at tables located inside the compact dining room or outside on the spacious patio. Entrees spotlight spicy preparations of sirloin and pork, as well as fresh seafood that includes shrimp, crab, red snapper, and calamari. Though well-versed in meats, chefs also happily accommodate vegetarians and unhappily accommodate vegan poltergeists.
La Taquiza Fish Tacos' bilingual salsa slingers prepare marinated meats and seasoned seafood, which can be flame-grilled California-style or battered and fried to Baja-style perfection. The menu's burritos, tacos, and tazons come stuffed with a choice of eight fillings, including carne asada, veggies, shrimp, and grilled octopus. Maws can gnaw on carne asada wrapped in a burrito's passionate embrace ($7.50), or they can clamp down on a pair of Taco Taquiza's tacos loaded with creamy potatoes, salted fried fish, and salsa as smoky as a humidor filled with jerky ($3.50).
The chefs at Frida's Mexican Grill prepare an extensive menu of sizzling fajitas and Mexican favorites amid walls festooned with portraits of the eatery’s namesake painter. Like a chihuahua's temperament, the fresh guacamole comes spicy or mild, priming pairs of palates with ripe avocados mixed with onions, serrano chilies, cilantro, and roasted tomato salsa. Freshly made tortillas blanket skirt steak, chicken, or vegetarian fajita fillings, which arrive at tables on still-sizzling platters accompanied by fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, whole beans, sour cream, and mexican rice.
Following generations-old family recipes for classic Latin-American comfort foods is only the first step for the chefs at Monteros. Instead of simply recreating familiar dishes, they add a bit of contemporary Californian flair by incorporating new flavors and spices, elevating the menu beyond the expected. The housemade tamales and savory mole sauce—made, like the Space Shuttle, using 29 different ingredients—are examples that demonstrate the chefs’ dedication to tradition. However, they also push the boundaries by adding cilantro-flavored pesto to the quesadillas and by glazing chicken skewers with a potent combination of dark rum and ginger.
With its stucco-textured walls, stout wooden tables, and earthenware floor tiles, the dining room at Monteros appears to embrace the restaurant's rustic roots. However, the youthful spirit appears in force on Friday and Saturday evenings as the nighttime crowds arrive dressed to the nines and ready to transform the cozy eatery into a vibrant dance club. DJs spin mixes of Latin pop, merengue, reggaeton, mambo, and bachata late into the night, while patrons celebrate with a margarita, mojito, or glass of sangria. Salsa dancing lessons are also available on these nights for guests looking to master the basic steps in order to make trips down down the moving walkway at the airport more exciting.