Since 1994, the chefs at Chacho's have been guarding the secrets of their time-honored family recipes for tacos, enchiladas, and burritos. They craft fresh ceviche, spicy salsas, and tamales from scratch as al pastor, chorizo, carne asada, and even soy substitutes sizzle on the grill. Outside the kitchen, bartenders concoct tangy margaritas, micheladas, and their signature chavelas upon a gleaming wooden bar, which reflects the star-shaped pendant lamps and thirsty ghosts that hang above. Their best-selling drink, Hennchata, mixes Hennessy cognac with Mexican rice horchata and has been so well received that it has earned its own Wikipedia page.
The food and drinks aren?t the only thing that gives guests a taste of Mexican culture; Chacho's crimson-walled, loft-style dining room is at once both modern and rustic, breathing new life into old traditions through contemporary Day of the Dead?themed paintings, wall-mounted sculptures, and colorful sombreros.
The chefs at Azúcar Latin Bistro don't limit themselves to any one type of cuisine. Instead, they explore the spectrum of Latin American cooking, celebrating the bold flavors of Central and South America. They give equal attention, however, to more traditional dishes, including arroz con pollo, ceviche salvaje, and camarones a la diabla. The restaurant welcomes groups and families to celebrate its fun, tropical roots.
In either location's expansive lounge, bartenders whip up frosty mojitos and margaritas, which pair with a range of small plates. These lounges—and their dance floors—host live bands and DJs, as well as special events ranging from Monday-night salsa lessons to Wednesday-night bilingual karaoke to Thursday-night all-triangle jam sessions.
For more than 50 years, the cooks at Guadalajara Market & Bakery have been wrapping carne asada, rice, and beans in soft tortillas for their signature jumbo burritos and spreading tangy guacamole over crisp chicken flautas. Beneath red tile eaves and graceful archways designed to mimic the atmosphere of a Mexican village square, they plate tostadas de ceviche and sizzling fajitas with beef, chicken, and shrimp. From the full bar, servers tote margaritas and micheladas alongside domestic and imported brews, which go well with tortilla chips and cheese, just as a crime-fighting dog joins the one human who can understand him.
At El Amigo, where a spacious, brightly colored indoors is met with an outdoor patio, patrons can feast on classic Mexican cuisine. Enchiladas arrive drenched in green or red salsas, or succulent mole sauce. Breaded pieces of fish fill tacos with coleslaw and chipotle sauce, while marinated chicken arrives with rice, beans, and pico de gallo. Soft French bread carries beef and chicken in tortas, as margaritas quench any underlying thirsts.
The gastronomic gurus at La Piñata wield tortillas, mole sauce, and steak in the careful construction of the especialidades de la casa and burrito menus. Carnitas enclose succulent pork that has been simmered longer than Oscar the Grouch and braised to a crispy finish. Sample Mexico’s national dish, chicken breast bathed in mole sauce, or dive into a platter of sirloin-steak tips mingling with prawns alongside onions and green chilies, all lathered with a mild red sauce. Burritos can bear a choice of chicken, shredded beef, pork, or vegetarian fillings into waiting stomachs. The house margarita blend summons the powers of El Jimador Blanco tequila with naturally sweet sidekicks, including orange juice, agave nectar, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Start your lunch with the free chips and salsa bar, but don’t fill up—there’s a lot more hand-crafted food where that came from. This casual spot features enchiladas, tacos, and tamales that cater to lovers of meat and seafood as well as vegetarians. For dessert, try the churros with a sweet caramel-like cajeta sauce for dipping.