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.
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There are plenty of distractions at El Paraiso. The ostentatious color scheme is dizzying from the second you spot the facade of the massive restaurant, stained mustard yellow, through the surrounding trees. Inside, every inch of wa...
I was sucked into the hellish pandemonium of El Paraiso the very second I spotted the restaurant at 4690 Harlan Street, rising up beside the road in its mustard-yellow glory. Waiting for me inside was a flurry of commotion, a circus...
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