The chefs at Frida's Mexican Grill prepare an extensive menu of sizzling fajitas and Mexican favorites amid walls festooned with portraits of the eatery’s namesake painter. Like a chihuahua's temperament, the fresh guacamole comes spicy or mild, priming pairs of palates with ripe avocados mixed with onions, serrano chilies, cilantro, and roasted tomato salsa. Freshly made tortillas blanket skirt steak, chicken, or vegetarian fajita fillings, which arrive at tables on still-sizzling platters accompanied by fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, whole beans, sour cream, and mexican rice.
La Taquiza Fish Tacos' bilingual salsa slingers prepare marinated meats and seasoned seafood, which can be flame-grilled California-style or battered and fried to Baja-style perfection. The menu's burritos, tacos, and tazons come stuffed with a choice of eight fillings, including carne asada, veggies, shrimp, and grilled octopus. Maws can gnaw on carne asada wrapped in a burrito's passionate embrace ($7.50), or they can clamp down on a pair of Taco Taquiza's tacos loaded with creamy potatoes, salted fried fish, and salsa as smoky as a humidor filled with jerky ($3.50).
Many restaurants blend American and Mexican food, but few show the cultural blend in their decor with great vigor. Hecho en Mexico showcases its culinary treasures in an old-fashioned diner setting—complete with counter eating, black-and-white checked floors, and booths lining the walls. Vivid yellow walls and colorful Corona banners add a south-of-the-border tone to the decor, and the eatery serves Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Along with seafood specialties, tacos, and dinner entrees, the kitchen sends out fresh, flavor-packed salsas at the salsa bar, which can be eaten with chips or pounded down as shots.
Since 1979, Little Manuel's cooks have whipped up housemade soups following family recipes, created from-scratch tamales just like Grandma used to make, and poured various liqueurs together to form tropical cocktails. In addition to the Mexican dishes, their menu incorporates a few Italian and American favorites in order to satisfy any palate or ACLU committee making diversity inspections. These dishes include pasta dishes and fried and wet burritos.
For generations, Ivalina and Adelio’s family have jotted down guidelines for crafting dishes in the tradition of Zacatecas, a north-central region of Mexico. Today, the father-daughter duo reap the rewards of their ancestors’ ingenuity and excellent penmanship at Memo's Mexican Cuisine, an eatery spotlighted by Check, Please! for its exceptional eats. Its chefs intertwine fresh ingredients, many hailing from local farmers' markets, and house-made sauces into dishes made fresh every day. Nicknamed The Royal Dish, chicken pipian is a signature dish and a traditional wedding-day entree, which showcases a chicken breast coated with an original sauce containing pumpkin seed, nine chilies, and 12 different herbs. At the bar, a wide selection of quality tequilas tempt shot glasses or find their way into margaritas. Catering services offer the same libations and fare without the restaurant's saffron and blue walls, which are partially obscured behind Mexican artwork.
Salsa Verde's culinary researchers memorize a library of Mexican recipes to give diners a menu laden with traditional Central American dishes. An array of tortilla-swathed favorites warm up empty hands with burritos built around fillings such as steak, chile rellenos, or shrimp ($5.49–$7.25) and meat-filled Mexico City–style tacos ($1.25) outfitted with an exotic ensemble of cilantro, onions, mild salsa, and a poster from the 1968 Summer Olympics. Selfish diners chomp away on the carnitas chipotle-barbecue torta, doused with coleslaw and sweet barbecue sauce ($5.75), and pairs divvy up the molcajete mixture of grilled chicken, steak, and chorizo cooked in salsa and oaxaca cheese ($16.99). The bistec ranchero coats a tender grilled steak with lime and olive oil before topping it with grilled onions, tomatoes, and mild serrano peppers ($9.25), and enchiladas filled with shredded chicken or seasoned beef swim in a choice of savory red sauce or the restaurant's signature salsa verde ($7.95). Pair south-of-the-border fare with a choice of fountain drinks or icy Corona beers to extinguish mouths set on fire by spicy foods or spiteful wisdom teeth still mad about being kicked out of the jaw.
An unassuming brick façade welcomes guests to Las Islitas, a Mexican eatery with an affinity for seafood. The chefs serve shrimp ceviche, oysters, fish tostadas, and their seafood cocktail, which is a medley of shrimp, baby clams, abalone, octopus, and some of Poseidon’s memoirs. For land-based eats, they also grill up beef fajitas and carne asada.