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.
Qdoba's burrito baristas handcraft a catering menu of Mexican-inspired cuisine, customizable with a panoply of fresh ingredients for a taco, nacho, or burrito bar. Qdoba's culinary crafters craft succulent fillings for burritos, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas, including protein-packing choices, such as slow-roasted pulled pork, adobo-marinated grilled steak or chicken, and spiced shredded or ground beef, with vegetarian options also available. Taste the gooey flavor accents of the signature queso sauce, a three-cheese blend with roasted poblanos, tomatoes, and jalapeños, the pinto or black beans simmered in cumin and onion, or the creamy, hand-smashed guacamole that's ideal for filling up Queen Elizabeth's diamond-studded guacamole chalice. Tortilla chips with salsa bar and desserts complete each catered event, and customers can opt for burrito-boxed lunches and any add-ons.
For over 45 years, thickets of ivy have climbed their way above the pink fa?ade of Los Toros Mexican Restaurant, where the Monta?o 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 remodeled bar. Here, UFC, boxing matches, and Dodger games play from their TVs; mariachi bands coerce toes into tapping during brunch; and 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 16 beers on tap and more than 60 different types of tequila that pour into signature margaritas.
Since 1951, the chefs at Rose Caf? on the Mesa have been mixing and forming their own chorizo according to a family recipe. The sausage clings to cheese inside gooey quesadillas and spices up tortilla strips, eggs, and veggies in chilaquiles. A collection of other family recipes guides chefs as they make flan, enchiladas, and jam-packed chilies rellenos. Patrons can also order breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros all day inside the golden-hued dining room or take their meals outside to the brick-paved patio.
At the French restaurant where they both got their start, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger discovered decidedly un-French cuisine in the privacy of the kitchen: homespun Oaxacan and Yucatan recipes prepared by their fellow chefs. The duo promptly untied their aprons, loaded them into a VW Beetle, and took off for a road trip to Mexico in 1985, where they sampled and studied delicacies prepared at beachside taco stands and family barbecues. Three restaurants, two gourmet food trucks, five cookbooks, hundreds of episodes of Food Network's Too Hot Tamales, and sizzling appearances on Top Chef Masters later, their Border Grill eateries add contemporary twists to authentic Mexican cuisine. Guests are greeted by dining rooms originally designed by the architect Josh Schweitzer, who is Mary Sue's husband and Susan's childhood friend. Within their walls, healthful plates enhanced by seasonal fruits and vegetables and fresh salsas roll into handmade tortillas or revel beneath cotija cheese. Devoted to sustainable eating, Border Grill infuses its dishes with sustainable seafood, organic rice and beans, and hormone-free meats, as well as Good for the Planet, Good for You meals made from at least 80% plant-based ingredients, just like Captain Planet's faux-leather jacket.