Mexicali Blues

June 2005

Don't wander in at dinnertime on a weekend and expect to find an empty table. Although there are lots of restaurants on this part of Wilson Boulevard, this Mexican-Salvadoran storefront restaurant draws more than its share of customers. The sound level is as loud as the color scheme. For a quieter dining experience, go during off hours or get one of the outside tables in fair weather.

The menu is short, the food is first-rate. Good appetizers are quesadillas with a choice of fillings, nachos with a choice of toppings, and yucca con chicharron, tender pieces of fried pork with either boiled or fried yucca. Or start with one of the Salvadoran pupusas or tamales, either as yellow corn wrapped in a corn husk or stuffed with chicken or vegetables in a banana leaf. Many of the dishes are Tex-Mex: tacos, enchiladas, flautas, and tortillas. More ambitious is the shrimp sautéed with onion, tomato, garlic, and cilantro. Saturday and Sunday brunch starts at 11 and features a variety of egg dishes.