From June 2005 Cheap EatsIt's rare to pass Lauriol Plaza on a weekend without seeing a line of people on the sidewalk waiting for a table. Part of its appeal is its outdoor dining space--on the sidewalk and a roof deck. But more than that, Lauriol Plaza almost defines what a Cheap Eats restaurant should be--large portions of good food at fair prices. Like its sister restaurant, Cactus Cantina, Lauriol Plaza is a cut above most of its Tex-Mex competition.
The usual tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas offer very good value for the money, but the real treats are the meats grilled over a mesquite fire. Fajitas are cooked to a tender medium rare; quail are succulent and burnished to a lovely mahagony brown; chicken is tender and moist. Any of these, with the accompanying flour tortillas, rice, beans, and guacamole--and perhaps a Dos Equis or a margarita--make for a great bargain meal.