Why go: If the tropical colors and tiki-hut decor don’t lift your spirits, the cooking will. The roster of dishes at this monument to the beach shack is conventional—burritos, quesadillas, tacos. But chef/owner David Scribner brings to the party fresh ingredients and a level of refinement you’d associate with a white-tablecloth spot.
What to get: Guacamole; Nevis tacos (corn tortillas cradling succulent grilled shrimp and a knockout pineapple-jalapeño salsa); grilled fish tacos with bean-and-corn salsa, guacamole, and lime sour cream; make-your-own salads with outstanding green-goddess or honey-peanut dressing; Acapulco quesadilla with grilled chicken, cheese, and mushrooms.
Best for: Feeling better on a rainy day; keeping the party going on a sunny one.
Insider tip: Diners can call ahead for curbside service and have takeout orders delivered to their car.
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.
>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here