At Tacos Chinampa, a taco isn't so much a taco as it is a work of art. What else can you call a freshly fried tortilla stuffed with balanced, seasoned meat and toppings such as grilled onions, radishes, cilantro, and avocado, or the restaurant's specialty, al pastor? The family-owned eatery, opened in 1972, also puts its tortillas and fresh ingredients to use in other dishes such as the quesadilla platter and, of course, a chips and salsa appetizer that's good enough to be a meal on its own.
Moonrise Spirits & Sushi's chefs pair the carefully balanced flavors of sushi with inspired fusion dishes. They craft friendly and familiar rolls, such as spicy salmon or the california. They also make some special maki, including The Last Emperor––a roll-up of lobster, crab, and avocado finished with a mango glaze. Behind the closed doors of the kitchen, they stick to seafood as their specialty, but broaden the range of flavors with ceviche, shrimp tacos, and salmon sandwiches.
The menu at Amore Ristorante Pizzeria raises the quintessential dilemma of Italian cuisine: pizza or pasta? Those opting for pies can slice up crusts laden with gourmet toppings such as prosciutto and brie or pesto and feta. Alternatively, plates of pasta entice diners to spear forkfuls of tortellini and ham or fettuccine alfredo bulked up with chicken or salmon. After dinner, tiramisu and spumoni sweeten meals better than a lazy susan carved out of chocolate.
At New Puerto Vallarta Sea Food And Grille, chefs marinate tender shrimp, crab, and octopus in lime before placing them delicately inside cocktail glasses or dangling them from a helicopter. Inside the kitchen, they flame-broil chicken and shred beef to stuff into soft tortillas. They also forge a variety of Tex-Mex specials, including fish and beef hamburgers accompanied by fries and soup, and fashion desserts such as baked flan to complement hearty meals.
The purveyors of fashion at The Label Exchange outfit patrons in next-to-new designer garb, rare vintage finds, and recycled accessories. The boutique's neat racks of gently inhabited apparel change regularly, but recent offerings have ranged from Hollister jeans ($16) to tops from Express ($12) and blazers from The Limited ($18). Shoppers in search of accessories to set off their eyes and any nearby metal detectors can flaunt a vintage flower pendant necklace ($12) in gold and purple. Leather accoutrements have recently included Broadway-strutting heels from Nine West ($25) and an orange-and-green braided belt from Donna Katz ($12).
“El Paso,” an old song by Marty Robbins, tells the story of a man who falls in love with a Mexican girl while dancing the night away at a cantina. Unfortunately, she flirts with a handsome cowboy, who the man shoots and kills in a jealous rage. It ends like most classic Wild West tales, in a deadly shootout inside the local watering hole. The name of that tavern? Rosa’s Cantina.
Rosa’s was made famous more than 50 years ago when the chart-topping song, which eventually went on to win a Grammy, reached the airwaves. Today, patrons from all across the world venture to the neighborhood bar to check out the cold drinks, the Mexican food, and, of course, the atmosphere that inspired Marty Robbins to use the bar as the setting for his hit song.
A bright red monster truck that wears the bar’s logo and lyrics from the song stands guard in the parking lot at Rosa's. Inside, tables draped in red or blue gingham tablecloths await red baskets of chips and plates of guacamole tostadas, chicken with green chilies, and burritos stuffed with meat and doused with chili and cheese. While patrons devour these treats, they listen to live performances from local musicians who just may one day take inspiration from the bar themselves and pen a hit song or dirty limerick.