I can't believe I haven't reviewed this restaurant before. It's become one of our favorites here in Santa Monica. I've dined here both with wife and daughter and have hosted a small dinner for business associates here. Last week I was left to my own devices for the evening and dined solo.
The carnitas is the best I've ever had anywhere. The first time I had it, I said so to the waitress. She came back five minutes later with the chef who said that the recipe had been in his family for 50 (?) years. They let me substitute my favorite side dish, the lime-cilantro rice for the cauliflower. As an appetizer I had their dip trio--guacamole, choriqueso, and a roasted red salsa--along with chips.
For those who like good old-fashioned soft drinks, they serve Mexican Coke--the kind made with cane sugar not fructose, just as all Coke was when I was a kid. With dinner I also had two of their unusual but very tasty cucumber-jalapeno margaritas. Friends have also enjoyed their blood-orange margaritas.
Reservations highly recommended. It can get a bit loud but the food is worth having to listen closely to conversation.