With pages full of flavors traditional to Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Cozumel, the menu at Haciendas Mexican Grill is like an atlas of Mexican cuisine. Guests can taste the classic Mayan influence on the nation’s dishes with the cochinita pibil, a cut of pork that slowly marinates in a stew of achiote, orange juice, and banana leaves, or revel in the country's knack for sauces with the dark-brown dressing of the pollo con mole. The chefs also take slight liberties with the dishes, infusing the chocolate fondue with ancho chiles and transforming the humble hamburger with oaxaca cheese and chipotle mayo. To honor Mexico's extensive coastlines, the chefs drench jumbo prawns, stuffed salmon filets, and lobster ravioli in spicy cream sauces.
Outside the dining room, guests can experience Mexican culture with specialty margaritas, tap and bottled beers, and other libations in the restaurant’s three bars. Like an interstellar pub crawl, each bar features a different atmosphere: one sports a scenic view of the mountains, another buzzes with a row of LED TVs, and an outside patio grants fresh air and warm sun ideal for a round of icy beverages.
Pieces of lobster and pot roast fill street-style tacos garnished with cilantro, and traditional chili relleno platters pair cheese-stuffed anaheim chilies with machaca beef or pork. Chefs update traditional Mexican dishes and American Southwestern recipes at Jalapeno Inferno to create a menu of flavorful and original cuisine. In addition to signature stacked enchiladas—fried-corn patties sandwiched between shredded chicken, chilies, and house sauce––an entire menu section devoted to spicy food lives up to the restaurant's name by secreting fiery hatch and red chilies into quesadillas, burritos, and your arch nemesis's drink.
Diners toast margaritas in a dining room awash with sage-green hues and golden cushioned seating. Expressive paintings can be found throughout the restaurant, whether between the plush curtains that separate booths or flanking the doors that lead to the patio. There, canopied tables look out on a pond decorated with boulders, cacti, and palms that preserve the restaurant's natural ecosystem.
At Modern Margarita, staff not only serve up grilled, salsa-topped tacos until 2 a.m., but also create a lively night spot you'll want to hang out at until then. Guests can linger on the 1,200-square-foot patio, an ideal spot to mingle or cool down with one of the house's signature margaritas. These drinks are made with 100% blue agave tequila, and come in numerous varieties such as the Sonoran—a blend of tequila blanco, lime, triple sec, orange juice, and Arizona prickly pear syrup. When hunger strikes or silverware starts getting needy, guests can order up shareable portions of Mexican street fare such as grilled mahi mahi tacos topped with pico de gallo and spiked aioli, or chicken wings in an agave or buffalo glaze.
The house specialties at X-Tapa Joe's, which is under new ownership, pay homage to the flavors and culture of Mexico. Chefs slather jalapeño cream cheese across chicken chimichangas and combine two classics in the Momma Jill's enchilada torte dish—a stacked enchilada layered with corn tortillas, ground beef, red sauce, and melted cheese. In addition to packing their burritos and tacos with guacamole, tilapia, and housemade chili, the staff flavors its service with friendliness. Food and margaritas are served in comfy booths in the dining room, at the bar outfitted with HDTVs, and on two outdoor patios. The patio atmosphere is as impressive as the restaurant's culinary offerings—it's covered, and a large fireplace breathes warmth into the space.
The posse of chefs at Agave Blue piques curious palates with a menu of casual Mexican fusion fare. Step in from the eatery's parking lot to warm up masticators with an appetizer of taco cheese fries ($5.95) topped with taco meat, jalapeños, and shredded cheese. Mouths can move on to deep-fried chicken chimichangas ($9.95), a trio of steak tacos ($10.95) harmonizing with mexican slaw and chimichurri sauce, or the baja burger ($8.95), which hulas to tables with an entourage of grilled pineapple, pepper jack cheese, and sautéed onions. Diners can sip, slurp, and blow bubbles into traditional margaritas, sidling up to the bar to watch the game or hanging out at a table to watch the table.