South of the Border

Beans, rice, tortillas, tamales, peppers, yes please!

Cantina Laredo

Cantina Laredo is a chain Mexican Restaurant; But… there’s only one in Las Vegas so I feel it to be a little more special. Nestled within the heart of Tivoli Village, Cantina Laredo stands out with it’s outdoor seating and bold, brick facade. On the inside, Cantina Laredo is quite strikingly modern. There are wood furnishings everywhere, floor to ceiling windows connecting the outside patio, and an overall buzz that can be felt as soon as you enter. Luckily, the modern Mexican food stylings match the modern décor nicely.

We started our meal with the Bontano Trio. This dish was a sampler and consisted of two tacos, two crab cakes, and two chicken tamales. Each were of a decent portion size and it was great to share. The tacos were light and fun, the crab cakes were perfect in their consistency, and the chicken tamales were great. This was a great way to start off our meal!

Cantina Laredo- Bontano Trio

For entrées we had the Torta de Pollo (Chicken) and Enchiladas de Cangrejo (Crab). The torta was peculiar, but in a good way. Compared to a typical torta from your local taco shop, this was not, but it still had the proper vibe to it. For me, it was more like a chicken ciabatta with southwestern flavors. The chicken was cooked well and was paired with mango and avocado cubes and the duo was excellent as well as very refreshing. I could do without the fries though, they seemed out of place. Otherwise, the sandwich was pretty solid overall.

Cantina Laredo- Torta de Pollo

The Enchiladas de Cangrejo were the star of the show for me. The enchiladas were stuffed to the brim with crab meat and had a nice, delicate sauce that perfectly brought in the delightfulness of the warm crab. The rice on the side was cooked perfectly and had a great texture to it. And the bed of julienned chips and cabbage under the enchiladas added a superb contrast that was very much welcomed. Bang for the buck, this was the best dish of our meal.

Cantina Laredo- Enchiladas de Cangrejo

Cantina Laredo does modern Mexican well. The feeling inside the restaurant and the twists on traditional Mexican fare is a great combination to behold. Seeing as there really aren’t many authentic Mexican restaurants in the Summerlin area, Cantina Laredo should be the go-to place for anyone looking for something with quality and care from South of the Border.

Rating out
of 10
Description
8 Location

What's nice about Cantina Laredo being inside of Tivoli Village is that it makes less of a destination. You can walk around before or after eating.

10 The Décor

Modern and welcoming at its best. Even the plates were nice to look at!

8 The Prices

Prices aren't really too bad for the amount of food you get.

N/A The Drinks

Although they have some interesting looking specialty cocktails, we did not partake on this venture.

9 The Food

Consistency of the quality of food was impressive and all of the plating of the dishes was on point.

8.75 Overall

A Sin City Foodie favorite!

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Cilantro Tacos

Fast casual is a great way to eat. The food is quickly made without sacrificing the quality of the ingredients and you can enjoy your food free from ball pits and people drinking 72oz sodas. Cilantro Tacos is an excellent addition to the fast casual category for the NW Vegas foodies to enjoy. 

Cilantro Tacos opened on Cinco De Mayo this year and I just happened to be in the vicinity. The place is family owned and operated, bringing their SoCal style and flavors to Sin City. And when I say operated, I mean at least three generations working at the same time to deliver you delicious tacos and burritos with plenty of family charm. 

The new Mexican eatery replaced the horrible Gorditas Tacos in a mini strip mall along Rainbow off of Smoke Ranch. Upon entering, the layout is nice and open and there is an open kitchen behind the counter. The tables and chairs are hefty wooded pieces that are leaps and bounds better than similar places with plastic everything. Along with the main options on the menu there is a quality Salsa Bar, Horchata, and fresh fruit juice they change every day. The menu is decently small but still diverse; Of course tacos are the stars but they do offer tortas, burritos, Mexican fries, and even elote (Mexican corn on the cob)!

My first visit was on opening day and my second visit was the next day, and my third visit was about 5 days later. Obviously, I'm a fan. 

So let's start with the Salsa Bar. Any self respecting Mexican eatery has one of these, some better than others. Here, everything is very fresh and tasty. The pickled carrots and friends are hot but not too hot, which is how I prefer it. The Mild Chipotle sauce is amazing and actually mild! Most places label mild and it scorches your tongue off, this one is just right! The Verde sauce is a little hotter but not too bad, and the Chile de Arbol is delicious and great with chips. Overall, the Salsa Bar is a winner.

Cilantro Tacos- Salsa Bar

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!!! As I've recently been to (and reviewed) Tacos el Gordo, those have been my gold standard for street tacos as of late. But from what I've had at Cilantro Tacos, there is now heavy competition. The Lengua Taco is stellar. The marinade on the meat is perfect and has the right amount of saltiness to it, the meat is firm but tender and just a joy to eat. The tortillas are solid and don't break apart when eating and the fresh cilantro and onions are superbly proportioned. This taco was so good that I've had at least two dreams about it since. More please!

Cilantro Tacos- Lengua Taco

The Chorizo con Papas Taco surprised me in a few ways. One, it was nowhere near as spicy as I thought it was gonna be, and two, it was actually just OK. It was slightly greasy and gristly but just didn't have the in your face flavor I'm accustomed to from chorizo anything else. Although it is a good meat choice and excellent taco, it just wasn't my favorite of the four that I tried. 

Cilantro Tacos- Chorizo Taco

Their fish taco, the Pescado Taco was great. I loved how flaky the fish was and it actually had some spice to it. A lot of places just slap some fried tilapia in their tacos with no seasoning and then douse it with sauce. This fish was filling, had bold flavors and stood up to the pile of add on atop it. The queso fresco was interesting to have on a fish taco but it worked out well and balanced the sauce that it came with. This is one of the better fish tacos I've ever had.

Cilantro Tacos- Pescado Taco

The Machaca (Shredded beer) Taco had nice changes compared to the others. This one was topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. The beef was slightly oily and very tender. It reminded me of Cuban Ropa Vieja with a little less saltiness. This is a small taco that will fill you up fast. 

Cilantro Tacos- Machaca Taco

I've had chile relleno at countless restaurants. I have never seen it in a burrito. So of course I had to order it. The Chile Relleno Burrito is different but welcomed. The burrito was stuffed with two chiles filled with cheese. The end result? An easy way to eat chili relleno I suppose. It worked in the burrito, it just needed a little more sauce or sour cream inside to maintain the flavors and not have so many dry components. I definitely think they've got something here and it will get better as they perfect it. I did really enjoy this burrito and can't wait to try it again. If you're a fan of chile relleno, you must try this burrito!

Cilantro Tacos- Chile Relleno Burrito

Cilantro Tacos is just what this neighborhood needed. Now there's no need to head all the way to North Town, or stand outside just to get some street tacos. The staff is more than welcoming, the ingredients are all top notch, and the atmosphere is easy going and a pleasure to be within. If you're feeling like some Mexican without breaking the bank, check out Cilantro Tacos ASAP! And tell them Sin City Foodie sent you!

Rating out
of 10
Description
8 Location

Right smack in between Lake Mead and Cheyenne, it's pretty easy to get to and find.

8 The Décor

The décor is very subtle. And I like it. Sometimes, it's ok to not slap every possible ethnic thing you can on the walls. I really like the furniture used as well. Alsthough I do think they could lose the green table coverings. The tables and chairs are beautiful as is!

10 The Prices

Tacos are $2, burritos are $5. Can't get much better than that!

10 The Drinks

No cervezas here, but the fresh juice that's changed every day is always amazing and their horchata is just how I like it.

9 The Food

Almost perfect. With a little more experience in the location I know they'll be able to pull off even better execution of their dishes in the future.

9 Overall

A Sin City Foodie favorite!

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Juan's Flaming Fajitas & Cantina

Located on Trop off of Fort Apache, Juan's Flaming Fajitas & Cantina resides in Buzz BBQ's old pad. Their outside is obviously a work in progress; Their sign is a vinyl banner and they still have stickers on the window from Buzz BBQ. But aside from the exterior, there actually is a lot of charm inside. The wall decorations are of simple Mexican scenes and it really is understated very well compared to many Mexican places that plaster the walls with trinkets and murals everywhere you look. Also I do like the color scheme, just simple yellows, purples, and reds filling in without being abrasive. The dining room is decently open and they even have a small stage in the corner. It feels cozy to be there. 

Unbeknownst to us, this restaurant had only been open about five weeks when we checked it out, so for a new place that no one has heard of, it was actually quite good.

Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Margarita

We were there in the middle of the day so obviously... I got a Margarita with my meal. The margarita was large and presented nicely. At first taste it was pretty sweet. I stirred it around a bit and it remained sweet. Although it was of decent size, I think it could have used a little more tequila. It seemed as if it was a perfectly measured 2oz of tequila with the rest all lime and simple syrup. So, it could use some work, but for $4 during happy hour, I can't really complain.

Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Fideo Soup

I ordered the the Flaming Shrimp Fajitas and it came with Fideo Soup. I love fideo soup. And this one is pretty close to the best I've had. At first glance I could tell I'd like this version because I could see it was a tad oily and that's just how I like it. Once my spoon dove in and cupped what was beneath the surface, I got to see that this soup had another benefit, it was chock full noodles! A lot of places skimp out on the noodles, not here! The broth was hearty and allowed the tomato flavor and aroma to be king with the noodles and seasoning as queens. I really enjoyed this fideo soup. 

Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Fideo Soup 2

After my soup it was time for my Flaming Shrimp Fajitas. And when they say flaming, they mean FLAMING! Take a look at the picture below! They brought the fajita caldron quasi-tableside (Close enough to feel the heat, far enough to not worry about my shirt combusting.) and lit it on fire. The three foot tall flame only stays around for a sec and then subsides, but it sure is fun to watch. Also, it grabs the attention of all the other patrons, so it's a good "sizzle" technic. Inside of the caldron is a lit flame that continues to cook everything as they sit it on the table.

Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Flame

My fajitas came with tortillas as well as Spanish rice, beans with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. All of the ingredients were fresh and held to their own flavors very well. The shrimp were very tasty and all of the veggies they cooked with mixed well with each other. What I really enjoyed was there was no sauces to mask any flavors. Each tortilla I filled with rice, beans, shrimp, and veggies tasted very authentic and were flavorful. The rice and beans were pretty solid, but the guac was pretty damn good. Overall, this is a very fun and delicious dish. I couldn't resist to not order a flaming fajita at a place that has it in their name!

I definitely will go back here and try the rest of the menu as they all of the items look like they're made with the same quality and presentation standards as the fajitas. Also, a 3pm-7pm, 7 days a week Happy Hour ain't to shabby!


Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Flaming Shrimp
Juan's Flaming Fajitas- Fajita Add ons
Rating out
of 10
Description
9 Location

Once they get a legitimate sign out front it will be easier to find, otherwise it's pretty simple to get to and parking is easy too.

10 The Décor

I really like the décor here. It's simple yet fun.

8 The Prices

Everything is priced very well. I thought $17 was a little high for my fajitas at first, but it was worth it after it was all said and eaten. I don't think anything on the menu is more than $17 for one serving.

6 The Drinks

For what I had, they fell flat. But these is a full bar and more choices, I'll have to try more.

10 The Food

I loved everything I ate. I ate it all. And I can remember it all. All good things.

8.6 Overall

A Sin City Foodie favorite!

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Tacos el Gordo (Strip Location)

Why do you go to the Strip? Probably because you like to people watch, enjoy the free attractions, and/or enjoy an adult beverage or two at the wee hours of the night. Well, you're all in luck; All of those things relate to Tacos el Gordo. 

I enjoy people watching and this is a place you can just sit back, have a great meal and take in all the walks of life that enter the doors hungry for some delicious tacos. If a good show or attraction is your thing, just marvel at the cook staff on how fast they move and how many there are to accommodate the never-ending line of patrons. And if you've had a few and need to soak up some ethanol with some Mexican goodness, then you sir, will have picked the right place to do so as well!

Tacos… Tacos are definitely on the top of the list of food types that people ask me most about. "Where's a good place to get awesome street tacos?" My answer normally has been establishments that are a tad on the "slummy" side. So I'm happy I've been introduced to Tacos el Gordo, now I can direct the masses towards an easy to find joint where they don't have to worry about being stabbed.

Tacos el Gordo is open from 10am to 3am Sun-Thurs & 10am-5am on Fri-Sat. No matter the time you drive by or visit, you will see a line. I've seen the line creep around the side of the building like they were giving tacos away. But don't be deterred, the swiftness of the kitchen will guide you quickly to getting meat in your belly. 

Now, to my meal! I was in the mood for a variety when I walked in to Tacos el Gordo. Their variety resides in their meat types, they really don't have many dish options other than tacos, fries, and quesadillas; Which I think is a good thing, mixing in burritos and such would slow things down and take away from simplicity of the entire concept. So I went with tacos, tacos, and more tacos!

My first taco was the Adobada Taco. Adobada is spicy pork meat and damn do they do it right! Not only is the meat perfectly cooked with a little bit of crispiness to it, they dunk the tortillas into the drippings from the gyro style spit the pork rests upon! Delicious! They also serve all of their tacos with two tortillas (which is preferred!) and their accompanying sauces. The sauce on this bad boy was extremely good, was proportioned well, and had the right amount of spice in it to beautifully compliment the pork. If you sat down and ordered 4 of these, you'd be in heaven.

Tacos el Gordo- Adobada Taco

The next three tacos are going to be a little weird for some of you, but if you attempt to venture away from the norm, these are amazing meats to try that are scrumptious and taste nowhere as weird as their parts suggest. Trust me.

Although it's not "all the rage" in the good ol' USA, animal heads are delicacies throughout the rest of the world. If you ever get a chance to have an edible part of an animal's head, go for it, I bet you'll love it. The head I had in taco form was the Cabeza Taco. Cabeza typically refers to beef head. This taco was very earthy and rich with the onions providing a great match for the full bodied taste of the meat. The meat was very tender and not off putting at all. The green mole matched well and helped brighten up the earthy tones of the beef. All in all a solid taco that's very filling and definitely worth trying.

Tacos el Gordo- Cabeza Taco

I love tongue! No, not that kind! Well, I guess that kind too… but I love beef tongue! This Lengua Taco rocked my world. This was the best of the bunch and I can picture myself eating it right now. The meat was cooked expertly and was very full of flavor. This taco had the most meat in it of the ones served to me and it was a glorious affair. I liked that they were light on the sauce on this one and added raw onions. The meat got to show off it's tender, rich, meaty goodness whilst being  cut with the contrasting crunch and taste of the onions for a marvelous pairing that explodes in your mouth. (Insert joke here) If you go to Tacos el Gordo, I beg of you…. try the Lengua, you won't regret it!

Tacos el Gordo- Lengua Taco

Braaaaiiinnsss……Braaaaaiiinns….. This would be a zombie's favorite taco. The Sesos Taco is beef brains. If you can get past the fact that you're eating brains, you'll fair well. Beef brains are hard to master. Undercook it and it's just disgusting, overcook it and it's chewy as hell. But when it's just right… it's thought provoking… The Sesos taco here was on point and very well done. The brains were prepared splendidly and were tender but not chewy. The green mole here worked it's magic again on providing a great counter to the fattiness of the meat. This was a great taco for one that typically is done poorly. 

Tacos el Gordo- Sesos Taco

In closing I'll say this: Get to Tacos el Gordo as soon as you can. For lunch, for dinner, for a drunken meal, for any reason! Not only is the food phenomenal, the open kitchen is a blast to watch, the people that come in the place are a cluster of locals and tourists, and the location is easy to find. Also, any place that has unlimited refills on horchata wins in my book! 

Rating out
of 10
Description
10 Location

Stupid easy to find and park.

5 The Décor

Pretty much zero effort put into the décor, but I'll let them slide.

10 The Prices

$11. My meal of 4 spectacular tacos and all I could drink horchatas was $11. Epic.

N/A The Drinks

10 The Food

Everything I had was great. Can't wait to go back for more!

8.75 Overall

A Sin City Foodie favorite!

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Pink Taco

Suggestive name? Check. Lowrider bikes in the windows? Check. 150+ Tequilas? Check. Pink Taco has a lot of good things making it a Sin City staple for Mexican eats. No es perfecto, but it has always been a favorite of mine over the years.

My most recent trip to Pink Taco was for my and my girlfriend's birthday celebration. We wanted somewhere with a fun, laid-back atmosphere, and a place that could handle a large group of 15 or so. Most places require a Group Menu for parties that size, which Pink Taco first informed me about, but after talking with them via e-mail, they were more than willing to let our party order a la carte. It worked out great. Our service was quick and efficient, and paying was extremely easy despite the group size. 

Since this was a birthday dinner, I might as well start with some drinks. First I had the Zapata Margarita. I didn't write down the exact ingredients, but all I tasted was a lot of orange juice and very little alcohol. And no matter how much I stirred it, the bottom was very watery. Someone else bought me the drink, so I couldn't complain much, but if I had spent $14 on a margarita, I'd want a little more Zapata and a lot less naranja! The second beverage of the night was the Monster Guava Margarita, just because I like ridiculous drinks. This one didn't fair any better. It basically tasted like I poured a Monster into a perfectly good margarita. To me, this has no right to be on the menu. This must be their attempt to get money from the "bros" that venture over from Rehab. 

On to the food! Now, for the record, my hands down favorite items on the Pink Taco menu is their Chile Relleno and Camarones, but I have to sway from them from time to time in order to diversify my experiences. So for this go at it, I had the Shrimp Cerviche Campechana for my appetizer and the Pink Taco for my entree. It is served with three (in-house made) crispy tortillas and consists of shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, lime, pickled jalepeños, and avocado. It looks like a smaller portion than it actually is and really should be served with six crispy tortillas, because I had to eat the other half of it with a fork after I ran out of edible vessels. The cerviche itself was juicy and flavorful. Thankfully not overpowered by lime juice like many are, and the tortillas were fresh and salted nicely. This was a fresh dish and a great starter. Also a good turnaround compared to my sub-par adult beverages.

The Pink Taco is actually three tacos and are put together with achiote grilled chicken, habanero pickled "pink" onions, avocado, and cotija cheese with Spanish rice and black beans on the side. The beans had a good home cooked taste and texture to them and the rice was good but not outstanding. The chicken was well seasoned and tender and was a good contrast to the sweet pink onions. The avocado was good and fresh as well. The only thing that could be improved upon on the tacos themselves is the tortillas. They only give you one per taco, most street tacos have two, and for good reason: So the contents don't soak through and create a mess! Otherwise they were good as a whole. And once again, its a dish that looks like less food than it really is, the tacos were stuffed with a good amount of meat for the money.

This experience at Pink Taco was a good time. The wait-staff was great and very accommodating, the food was solid, and the atmosphere was fun as always. Next time I go, I think it's time to go back to the Chile Relleno though, it's been a while, and I'll remember to get my drinks elsewhere before I go.

Rating Description
out of 10
9 Location
Anything off the Strip instantly makes it easier to get to. The Hard Rock is a fun place to be, and Pink Taco can be a stop before or after a concert, pool venture, or a day at the convention center.
10 The Décor
Lowrider bikes, gold Dayton rims, Mexican artwork everywhere, they knock it out the park when it comes to their theme.
7 The Prices
For Mexican food, it's pricey. For Mexican food in a posh hotel, it's pretty on point. The food portions equal the prices unlike most in this genre that are located near or on the Strip.
5 The Drinks
Their selection of Tequilas is amazing, the amount of said tequila in your drink though? Not as much.
9 The Food
The grub is always on point at Pink Taco. I've danced around the menu items enough to like anything they have to offer.
8
OVERALL
For me, easily one of the top three Mexican restaurants on or near the Strip.
(out of 10)

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The Taco Spot (Closed)

The Taco Spot is a relatively new Mexican joint in NW Las Vegas. I've driven by it many times saying I've got to check it out, but never did. Finally the opportunity presented itself and I got to try out what The Taco Spot is all about.

At first glimpse, The Taco Spot entices you in with vibrant, eclectic colors, pictures or Mexican ruins, and a simple yet stacked menu. The dining room is kind of split into two sections, so it actually seats more that it first seems. As well as, there is outside seating available that overlooks the busy intersection of Ann and Centennial Parkway. 

The menu has eight main items and then you choose what kind of meat you want with your selection. I started with the Costra, which is their signature dish. I've never heard of it before, so I ordered it. I picked the Chorizo, which they use a little spice alambre, steak, bacon, peppers, onions, and melted cheese to fill their delicious Mexican sausage. I had no idea what I was in for since this dish was alien to me and when I received it, I really didn't know what to think at first. 

This entire dish was like uncovering a mystery in a novel. It seemed simple when I started, but became more complex as I went. The top of this incarnation is a grilled cheese extravaganza. It was crispy, gooey, and a little greasy at the same time, awesome. Underneath it's sombrero of dairy goodness was the chorizo and all of it's mighty flavor. The chorizo was very well seasoned and the flavors have a fiesta in your mouth when combined with the cheese topping. The chorizo also has a good kick of spice to it, which it should, and there was definitely a good amount of it under there as well. Underneath the chorizo and cheese laid a yellow corn tortilla that was well soaked with it's upper bunk mate's flavors and grease. One good fork stroke at a time, I enjoyed each bite consisting of all three layers of this scrumptious oddity. 

After finishing the Costra, I was still hungry. Not because it wasn't a lot of food, I really just wanted an excuse to try another menu item I had my eye on. They had a specific taco option called Tacos Alambre al Pastor and it's two for $4.99. After reading the ingredients (Alambre spice, slices of pork, bacon, and steak, seasoned with adobo, with onions, and pineapple!) and wiping the drool off my lip, I ordered it and waited.

This Taco was so pretty I almost didn't want to eat it… but then I saw the pork glistening in the moon light and I went to town (as seen in photo). These were two generously full, street tacos, that were just bursting with flavor. (If you look at the Tacos Alambre al Pastor picture and your mouth doesn't start watering, something is wrong with you.) Forget a fiesta in my mouth, this was like a Mexican stand-off of deliciousness. Each meat stood out how they should, each pepper had texture and crunch, the onions were perfect, the tortillas were fresh, and their seasonings brought everything home in each outrageous bite. This is my new favorite taco. 

My only gripe of my entire meal was my drink. I had their Horchata, man it was terrible. It barley tasted like horchata. It was overly sweet, and was far from "authentic". I'll be happy when they start serving beer at this location later this summer.

The prices are fair, they have a punch card, they have your typical Mexican restaurant staples (Salsa bar, and TVs in the dining room playing Telemundo); It all works. There are only three locations in the nation of The Taco Spot and I'm glad Sin City is home to one of them. I will be frequenting The Taco Spot on a regular basis.


Rating Description
out of 10
6 Location
It's a destination. You have to drive down a small street first to get to it, and the only real thing there with it is a Cracked Egg.
8 The Décor
Nothing super amazing. It's fun and not over the top. It's enough to tell it's a Mexican joing, but not at all in your face.
10 The Prices
I'd say every menu item is good bang your buck. Two can easily eat for under $15 and have an amazing meal.
6 The Drinks
They have regular foutain drinks, a horrible horchata, and some other Mexican fruit punch. They said they'll have beer sometime this summer.
10 The Food
I had two menu items, and both were amazing. I can't wait to go back and try everything else!
8
OVERALL
There's nothing better in NW Las Vegas for Mexican Street Style grub.
(out of 10)

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Las Islitas

You ever sit there enjoying a really good movie, taking in the spectacle of the action and romance, being completely enthralled with the characters…. and then it all goes to shit with a horrible ending? Isn't that the worst? Well that's exactly what my experience was like at Las Islitas.

My girlfriend and I stopped in after a rub down at The Best Foot Spa because we were freshly relaxed and starving. Las Islitas was just around the corner, so we figured we'd give it a go.

The word "Interesting" is best to capture the essence of Las Islitas. There was a lot to take in. At first entering, I immediately noticed the vibrant and fun décor: Two huge murals on the wall of an island view, with oars, ship wheels, and other island themed decorations strewn about. We also saw that the place was packed  and that every single patron was hispanic, those are good signs to me. I also noticed directly next to the entrance was a table where they were selling bootleg DVDs! That'll definitely add some character to a place! There was two flat panel TVs playing Univision and music videos, by the hallway to the bathrooms was a random fish tank, with pet fish, not entrée fish, and a jukebox blaring Spanish music. There was also a separate sound system in the dining room that was also playing music, so at some moments, they were both playing different songs at the same time. A little annoying but a little hilarious too. 

Before our meal we were given their Chips and Salsa to snack on as we scoped the menu. The salsa was a tad watery and had a good spicy kick to it, but we added salt to help out the overall lackluster flavor. It wasn't terrible, just not amazing. We also shared an Horchata which was pretty good. It wasn't too grainy or sweet like most tend to be.

Las Islitas specializes in seafood but also has regular Mexican menu items like burritos and tacos, and even chicken fingers to satisfy 'Mericans I suppose. I wanted to try their seafood so I ordered the Filete Relleno, which had shrimp, octopus, tilapia, and peppers with rice and beans. My girlfriend got a carne asada burrito. Both meals arrived in less than five minutes from ordering and that always concerns me. It normally means everything is reheated in a microwave or they prepare the food in the morning and it just sits there in chafers until ordered. But, I didn't suspect either from our meals, I think the rice and beans of course were pre made, but my seafood was all items that would cook pretty fast in a hot pan, so no worries there. (And just as a funny observation, I was served this meal exactly as pictured…..what am I supposed to cut with the knife?!)

I first tried the rice and it was cooked perfectly, was a touch buttery, and had some corn kernels in it for a little extra flavor. The rice was overall pretty good. The beans on the other hand…. magnificently horrendous. I don't know how you screw up beans, that takes skill. A 79¢ can of Rosarita beans would have been better than this brown tragedy that was wrongfully bestowed upon me. Completely inedible. 

The seafood portion of my meal was the winner by far. The shrimp was cooked well and there was a good amount of them. They were sweet and had a good consistency. The grilled octopus was small in size but big in flavor, each little bite was very firm and tasty. The tilapia was buried under everything else, but shined by being very smooth, buttery, and cooked to perfection. And the sauce that everything was drizzled in was rich with a spicy undertone to it and really held it all together very well. I also got flour tortillas with my entrée and mixed the rice and seafood portions together and ate them taco style, I highly suggest eating it that way. 

Once we were done with our meals, our server cleared the table and we waited for our check….and waited…and waited… I flagged her down and asked for the check after about five minutes. She said she'd be back with it right away, so we waited…and waited… she was still serving tables and passed us a few times, still no check. After about fifteen minutes we said screw it and just rounded up how much we think we owed, left the money on the table and bounced. What a way to ruin a somewhat good experience. 

In the future, I'm willing to give Las Islitas another shot because my meal was pretty good (minus the beans). I'd like to try some of their whole fish offerings and desserts eventually, maybe pickup a bootleg movie while I'm at it, and see if they can redeem themselves by actually giving me the check when I'm done.

Rating Description
out of 10
6 Location
I've driven by and never noticed it before, it's kind of nondescript in a strip mall.
8 The Décor
I liked it. It doesn't seem cheesy or over the top. The hand painted murals really give it the island feeling.
8 The Prices
Prices are on par with most similar Mexican restaurants.
9 The Drinks
I didn't have any, but their selection is pretty good. Cocktails, Mexican and domestic beers, Tequila, Whisky, Cognac, Brandy, Vodka, and Wine all available.
7 The Food
On the seafood side, everything was great. The horrific beans were a problem.
7.6
OVERALL
I'm willing to go back for more seafood.
(out of 10)

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