Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill's menu bursts with authentic Mexican fare, prepared fresh daily by Sinaloa, Mexico native and executive chef Ernesto Gastelum. Famished patrons can begin their feasting fiesta with chilis gueritos (yellow peppers) stuffed with shrimp, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, and accompanied by a creamy soy sauce ($12.95). Tableside guacamole, a mashup of avocados, tomatoes, and onions in a deep-fried tortilla shell, comes kissed with lime juice under an aromatic sprig of cilantro mistletoe ($8.95).
Fresh air from ceiling fans whirs by plants that hang from the ceiling. The food is as fresh as the air at La Mexicana Restaurant, where cooks serve seafood such as shrimp cooked in ranchero sauce, meat and vegetarian burritos, as well as tortas and tostadas.
At first peek, the patrons at Casa Jimenez could be entering a rural Mexican townhouse, judging by the eatery's burnt-orange shingled roof and egg-white-hued façade. Upon entry, a flood of natural light from large bay windows reveals a steaming parade of Mexican dishes crowded with tortilla-cloaked bites of pork, steak, and shrimp. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, diners cure spoons' hypothermia with dips in the bubbling depths of a time-tested mexican soup or embrace indecision with combination plates of burritos, enchiladas, and tacos that offer a warm rush without the indignity of being tackled by a Care Bear.
Super Burrito has slaked spicy appetites with an expansive menu of tasty tortilla treats for more than four decades. The Bomb burrito, made with a fiery combination of pork, beef, steak, beans, rice, and sour cream ($6.95), temporarily rearranges glands so that eaters salivate salsa and sweat happiness. An array of taco options and combination plates, featuring chile rellenos, enchiladas, and tostadas ($1.95–$5), slathers tongues in piñata-pounding flavors, and smaller stomachs delight in a junior burrito combo meal ($4.75). Those scared of salsa can dive into above-the-border options such as double cheeseburgers ($3), corndogs ($1.25), or encyclopedias of presidential nicknames.
The menu at La Paloma Restaurante extends beyond the Mexican-restaurant standards of burritos and fajitas to offer vegetarian dishes and exotic game meats such as antelope, pheasant, and ostrich. Cooks marinate charbroiled ostrich filets in house spices and dress antelope filets in a cranberry-chipotle sauce. More conventional dishes include carne asada burritos—grilled, marinated sirloin sauteed with bell peppers and onions, served with guacamole and salsa—and seafood enchiladas stuffed with shrimp and cheese, topped with ranchero sauce and sour cream. Diners can compliment meals with a selection of more than 50 tequilas, or take the menu's recommendations on wine pairings and gossip topics for the evening.
The scent of sizzling steak wafts from the kitchen at Leno's Rico Taco, a cozy Mexican eatery located near Colton High School. The spot's cooks pile that steak into warm tortillas, pairing the tacos with chopped onions, cilantro, and pickled vegetables. Visitors place their orders at a counter, savoring the aroma of carne asada as they wait to hear their numbers called.
At Texifornia Tamale Co., the tamales are hand-rolled around spicy brisket, jalapenos and cheese, and slow-roasted pulled pork. So are the burritos, but instead of savory cornmeal, their exteriors are 13" flour tortillas. Their interiors are also more diverse. ensconcing everything from meat and chorizo refried beans to two types of cabbage. The masterminds behind these hand-made Mexican dishes are Jeff and Micki Smith, a husband-and-wife team. The pair complements the restaurant's homey Mexican classics with upscale plates, such as Icelandic cod with red beet risotto or other burritos served on golden platters.