Some Like it Hot!

Now trending from chef/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken,  (Border Grill) is an all-day California canteen and Mexican pub located in the Gateway at 19th and Santa Monica. The modern, casual dining spot is definitely one of our favorites! I cannot thank the wonderful staff for the friendliness and excellent service that we experienced tonight. I'll get to the food in a minute, but service is half the game in my book. First off, I love the decor, and secondly, the food is magnificent! I'd have to say, hands down the guacamole is the best in town! I am very picky about my guacamole, and honestly could eat this one every day! Chips are hot, fresh, and salty and highly addictive! I'm also embarrassed to say that I devoured the entire plate of Chicken Chicharrones, crispy chicken skin with crudités, chili lime, blue cheese, and avocado tomatillo sauce. The skins were slightly spicy, but entirely yummy! We also went crazy for the best skirt steak that we've eaten in a long time. I'm not a skirt steak fan, but had a bite of this incredible meat. It was garlic, citrusy and served with broccolinI, charred onion, organic corn tortillas, and calabacitas (squash). The steak was juicy and flavorful and we ate every bite. We also had the chicken Norteno which was a grilled half chicken, enchiladas Rojas, gualjillo (chile) sauce, cojita cheese, and apple herb salad. This was another amazing dish with juicy, tender chicken and a lot of it!  Needless to say we were too full for dessert! We will definitely be back and we're bringing all of our friends too! Socalo 1920 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica (310) 451-1655 Check for various hours.

If  you are looking for some definitely elevated Mexican cuisine while shopping in Century City, Javier's is just the ticket! The vibe is beautiful and relaxing and the bar is drop-dead gorgeous! You can tell that a lot of time, money, and effort was put into making Javier's special. So many of the menu items are creative and original and represent well all of the different regions of Mexico. All of the seafood is high quality, as is the chicken, pork, and beef. Ingredients are fresh and inviting and needless to say; we loved it!

For starters, we enjoyed the Javier's margarita made with top-shelf tequila. They are strong, so be forewarned! The guacamole is smooth and a tiny bit spicy.

We enjoyed the Javier's chopped salad with red onion, avocado, mixed greens, cucumber, sweet corn, and champagne vinaigrette and added chicken. You can also add shrimp or steak. The enchiladas and tacos were also delicious served with refried beans.

Javier's is very pricey Mexican fare, but the service and ambience are top notch. We can't wait to return!

Javier's 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles (424) 313-8143 Call for hours. 

 

For some very satisfying Mexican street food with incredible cocktails, we stopped by Petty Cash last week. We love sitting at the bar or at a cozy table for two. At the mid-city location try a featured flight of Mezcal expressions for $20. If you are more in the mood for cocktails,check out the Rye, Felicia! ($14) with rye whiskey, mexcal, cacao, chipotle, orange flower water, and charred chili de arbol. It packs a punch, but is certainly delicious! My favorite is the Agua Fresca Con Booze ($12), a blend of watermelon, pineapple, and your choice of spirit. This refreshing drink has "summer" written all over it! Guacamole ($12) made with Polito Farms avocados is tasty and fresh. But the tacos are what you shouldn't miss! We loved the dorados ($5 for 3 small) with crispy potato tacos, tomatillo sauce, and cotija cheese. The Grilled Ribeye Carne Asada Taco ($6) is chock full of meat, guacamole, and refried beans. Al Pastor Tacos ($6) with adobe-chili rubbed pork shoulder, pineapple, and avocado is a sure-fire winner too! Machaca Quesidillas are pretty tasty too. Made with beef brisket, Jack cheese, poblano peppers, tomato, scallions, and chipotle, it's fantastic too! Check out this trendy taqueria! Petty Cash Taqueria 7360 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles. (323) 933-5300 Hours: Lunch W-F starting at 12 noon, Lunch Sat/Sun-starting at 12 noon, Dinner Sun-Mon 5:00 p.m.-10:00 pm, Dinner Tues-Thurs 5:00pm-10:30pm Dinner Fri/Sat 5:00-11:00 pm.

Recommended: Tacos, Guacamole, Quesadillas

If you love Mercado, you must try Maradentro!  Mexican seafood has arrived on the westdie by one of my favorite chefs, Jose Acevedo. As if it isn't enough to enjoy his ultra yummy food and cocktails at Mercado; we now have another place to call one of our favorite watering holes! With his vast knowledge of regional seafood specialties, Acevedo definitely has another winner on his hands! The restaurant, right on Wilshire and Barrington features a beautiful outside patio and inside dining as well. Start off with the special Blood Orange Margarita by Cesar Arenas. It's one of the most refreshing drinks in town! Guacamole de Langosta ($13) is perhaps one of the most creative dishes I have tasted. I only wish we'd ordered two! Imagine Haas avocados, serranos, red onions, cilantro, lobster, and Nueske bacon and some pretty crispy chips and there you have the most delicious guacamole on the westside!  Chips and salsa ($2) with salsa brava, and salsa de molcajete are spicy, so watch out! Cilantro Lime Rice ($4) is a flavorful side dish and plenty to share. The Surf and Turf Tacos ($17) include a lobster and Filet Mignon taco, poblano chilies, avocado, and Yxta salsa brava. Pollo Al Ajillo ($18) is a Jidori free-range chicken, chili de arbol garlic butter, cilantro lime rice, and market vegetables. Chicken is perfectly cooked, moist and tender. We can't wait to go back for more of Chef Jose's bright, rich flavors! Maradentro  1168 S. Barrington Avenue, Brentwood (424) 273-1377 Hours: M-Wed: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m, Thu-Fri: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat 4-11 p.m. Sun 4-10 p.m. Happy Hour: Daily 4-6 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Guacamole, Chips and Salsa, Tacos, Chicke

So my husband has been holding out on me for all of these years and has never taken me to Pasco's Tacos! Finally we went to Paco's a couple of weeks ago, and I can't get ot out of my mind! I love it!  PT is very close to us so we can easily make it one of our "go to" places. A landmark here in LA (okay Westhchester), the place is huge and decorated with flags, crepe paper streamers, and fiesta decorations all brightly colored and a feast for the eyes. In the middle of the restaurant tortillas are made by hand, grilled, and it's cool to watch. They taste pretty amazing too! Service is excellent and friendly and the food is fantastic! Start off with a margarita; they're too good to be missed! Order some Guacamole and chips ($5.50) to start. They give you a huge portion so it's enough to enjoy with your dinner too. Tacos de Carne Asada ( with broiled steak and Tacos de Pollo Asada (broiled chicken, sauteed onion, pasilla chile strips) are the best soft tacos. For burritos we like Wet Beef ($9.50) with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo. (each $1.75) They are huge and super flavorful. For big appetites the Supermex Burrito ($11.25) will fill you up. A huge tortilla is filled with beef and lettuce, and topped with special green sauce, melted cheese, and avocado. We also can't get enough of the enchiladas ($12.50) with rice and beans. So, you needn't stray south of the border when there's fine Mexican fare right here in LA. Paco's Tacos 6212 W. Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles (310) 645-8692. Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11 a.m.-10p.m. Fri-Sat 11a.m.-11 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, guacamole.

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