Mark Manger

El Paraiso

Mark Manger
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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