Super Mex’s vibrant neon signs have burned 24 hours a day since 1974, beckoning diners in for authentic Mexican fare, drinks, and games of chance. Mexican flags flutter from the rafters and massive flat-screen TVs beam down from colorful walls, illuminating diners as they place bets on the number of bristles in Mark McGwire’s goatee. Meanwhile in the kitchen, frying pans simmer with authentic Mexican breakfasts and dinners, along with an extensive menu of healthier entrees—including low-carb options, whole-wheat tortillas, soups, and salads. At some locations, meals can be paired with horchata or buckets of miniature Coronas.
Although originally a Mexican restaurant, these days, Senor Big Ed is more like a trip to Puerto Rico, from the cuisine to the flags on display. And, as Miles Clements writes for the Los Angeles Times, “past those patriotic goods are wispy white curtains and sun-bleached walls…light and bright enough to recall a breezy beach scene despite its landlocked location on Lincoln Avenue.” If the decor alone doesn’t transport diners, the food will: helpings of mofongo (plantains, pork rinds, and garlic), plus roasted leg of pork and stewed beef impart signature Puerto Rican flavor, not unlike a bite of the fortress walls surrounding Old San Juan.
Though Cafe Del Sol’s chefs largely stick closely to the restaurant’s Mexican theme, they’re not afraid to throw in a few American favorites, either. Chefs are equally skilled at grilling carne asada and artfully preparing shrimp fajitas as they are at creating tiered club sandwiches and sizzling double cheeseburgers. The sunny restaurant is the perfect place to sample all the cuisine’s varied dishes or rank tortillas by their taste, texture, and which one doesn’t remind you of the napkin that ruined your last date by being so tasty.
Fresh seafood cooked in the Puerto Nuevo style flies out to tables in Rockin Baja’s signature buckets, accompanied by flavorful entrees and high-quality cocktails. After traipsing over to the unlimited chips-and-salsa bar, delighted diners dive into plates of gnarly nachos, upgrading plain corn tortilla chips for ones piled high with jalapeño-spiked cheese, ranchero beans, and guacamole ($9.99). Carne asada and grilled chicken snuggle up with wild Mexican shrimp and Alaskan snow crab in the surf 'n' turf bucket ($23.99), with other palatable pails offering up equally covetous combos including shrimp and lobster ($25.99), and fried mahi-mahi and fries ($14.99). For traditionalists who prefer to leave their buckets on the beach, plates of outrageous tacos tickle taste buds with their George Carlin impersonations, as well as seven filling incarnations ranging from pork carnitas to slipper lobster tails ($8.99+). Fried ice cream ($4.99) crunches its way to a fabulous finale, arriving flash fried, drizzled in caramel, and coated in sweet contradiction.