Local Cantina is off of Grandview Avenue tucked in the back corner of the plaza next to Aladdin's. It's not really what you'd expect out of a Mexican restaurant in a plaza. It's got a great vintage vibe with eclectic wall art, dim lighting and a selectively diverse menu. The bar is a series of wood slats with shelving for bottles with pictures hung here and there. There is a vintage washer which holds fresh tortilla chips and salsa for a serve yourself snack.
The salsa and chips were just what us hungry diners needed to curb our appetite while navigating the menu. The salsa was very good, it had just the right kick!
We started off with cocktails, I ordered a Dark 'n Stormy (very similar to a Moscow Mule but with dark rum so it turns out a tad sweeter) and Chris got Columbus Brewing Company's Andyman Ale. My drink was delicious and a welcome change of pace instead of tequila (I know I know when in Mexico, drink tequila but it just hurts my body too much hah!). They did have other cocktail options, obviously with margarita choices for all. They also had a pretty good beer list.
|Dark 'n Stormy|
Then came tacos! We decided since we did mostly tacos at El Camino, in order to compare we'd have to do the tacos at Local Cantina. Plus our server highly recommended the tacos over the other options. Chris ordered the fish taco, brisket taco and roasted carnitas taco with a side of street corn. The carnitas disappeared before I could snag a bite but Chris said it was good especially with the fruit salsa. He really liked the fish taco, I decided to take his word for it (I'm not a fish fan). The brisket was very good, I managed to grab a bite, good BBQ sauce, tender beef and a sweet jalapeno slaw that really added to the taco. The street corn, slathered in a butter and queso mixture was pretty phenom.
|Fish, Roasted Carnitas and Brisket Tacos|
I ordered the veggie and avocado B.L.T. tacos with a side of Mexican rice. The veggie was delicious, it had a black bean and corn salsa, cabbage, pico de gallo, guac and a chipotle vinagrette type of sauce. The avocado B.L.T. was creative but kind of standard tasting, nothing overly special about it. The mexican rice was good, fluffy and well seasoned.
|Veggie and BLT Tacos|
We both agreed we preferred the tacos at Local Cantina over the rest we've tried in our new restaurant journey. We went on a Thursday evening and there were plenty of tables available. We had a mix of servers due to a shift change but our first one and the one from the bar were both very friendly and very nice. Our first sever was a little quirky and gave really good suggestions. She even stopped over after she clocked out to check in on us.
|This review is featured on urbanspoon!|
Given the nature of the cuisine it's pretty easy for the food to be prepared quickly, as we've found at most Mexican restaurants. The atmosphere and staff at Local Cantina make for a great dining experience whether you want to grab a quick bite or if you want to stay awhile. They have specials and events like trivia that you can find on their Facebook page from week to week. Good food, good service, good atmosphere, a definite win on the new restaurants list!
It's crazy busy before the holidays but I would like to get some more posts up that aren't just LFM's! Stay tuned!