Although El Paraiso offers more than 400 dishes, this restaurant's regulars never seem to crack open a menu. They'll spend five minutes agonizing over whether they should spring for a margarita, agua fresca or cerveza, but they never have any trouble deciding what to order for their meal. That's because they know to go with the sizzling molcajetes, lava-hot mortars overflowing with griddled fresh corn tortillas, garlic, blazed meats, onions and chiles. All the versions are fantastic, but the champion is the molcajete a la Mexicana, a deep heap of housemade chorizo and smoky carne asada in a stewy mix of chiles and tomatoes.
- Price: $$
- Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Outdoor seating: Open-air patio
- Alcohol: Full bar
- Parking: Lot available
- Extra Services: Catering, Private-group dining