A pleasing jumble of bright warm colors welcomes patrons as they enter Salsa and Beer, where the kitchen turns out myriad Mexican favorites. Bean dip and salsa—always complimentary—flow freely with chips, and the chefs integrate housemade red and green sauces into tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. A huge sun painted on the ceiling watches down on patrons as they eat on painted tables, slicing into deep-fried chimichangas or chipotle-chicken flautas. Hues of lime green, pink, and orange occupy the walls and window paintings in the dining room, and a patio in the front is separated from the street by sculpted wooden barriers, whether in the shape of cacti or a wide sun.
Hugo's Tacos' hard-working chefs combine traditional Mexican recipes with culinary techniques culled from Northern Italy, serving up an array of zesty dishes made from scratch and draped in seven flavorful salsas and fillings. The menu tempts diners with delicious tamales, tacos, tortas, and breakfasts fashioned with flavorings from culinary traditions across the Mexican landscape, from the traditional salsa negra of Michoacán to Tijuana's mysterious tomatillo mines. The flexible chefs delight diners of all diets with customizable meals often available in vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free varieties.
In The Salsa Bar, contented sighs drift from diners cradling corn tortillas full of never-frozen ingredients free of lard and MSG, and a grill sizzles beneath morsels of shrimp, fish, and beef. Multiple televisions deliver updates from sporting events or confuse freshly made tacos into adopting the referee as a parent, and dulcet waves of horchata and tamarindo surge through straws to warmed mouths.