It really should be kept a secret so it doesn’t get too overly-crowded, but, seriously, the food is so fabulous and the owners are so loveable, the restaurant named after a popular Mexican drink really should be shared with the world.
It’s called Margaritas Mexican Grill and the manner in which the co-owner Jose blends a Margarita is a secret created from a 100-year old recipe. The signature drink is called the La Patrona and is made with Patrona Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, sweet and sour and fresh orange hand-shaken. Other fruit margaritas include all the usual ones, plus pomegranate.
To compliment the Margaritas, sample the shrimp cocktail from Ensenada, Mexico. It’s mammoth-sized and made with cucumber, avocado, pico de gallo, salsa and lots of lemon served in a schooner or Margarita glass. The small portion has 10 shrimp and the large serving has 18.
While waiting for your entrée, you’ll easily be able to spot Maria, Jose’s wife and co-owner of Margaritas. Her smile could light up both the dining room and bar all at the same time. They both welcome you as if you are eating in their own home. Many of the recipes are from when Maria used to cook for her six brothers and sisters while growing up in Ensenada. From the taste of her cooking, it was an effective training ground.
The restaurant’s original Mexican Caesar and Tamarindo dressing were both created by Maria and taste great paired with the Ceviche and Shrimp salad and the Cancun salad with fillet of sole, marinated in Margarita sauce.
As for their longevity in the restaurant business, Jose was inducted years ago as a busboy.
“I used to serve chips and salsa on Olivera Street to President Reagan, Sonny and Cher and Elton John,” says Jose. And Maria began her career as a waitress at an Acapulco restaurant in Glendale. Their combined food service and preparation experience has served them well. They’ve made a living owning restaurants together for the past nine years, four at this location.
“The people like our food. That’s what makes me happy,” says Maria, whose joyous laughter is fitting for a woman who naturally and effectively infuses her recipes with the same kind of zest for life.
During their Monday through Friday lunch buffet, 10 items are regularly rotated for variety and often include selections you would not normally see at other Mexican buffets. Their Sunday brunch includes a homemade tortilla bar and champagne. Seasonal specialties, like pumpkin flan, are items that Margarita customers look forward to eating. And from the regular dessert menu, it’s really tough to resist Acevedo’s version of apple pie created using a flour tortilla. Topped with cinnamon, caramel sauce and authentic whipped cream, it’s to die for, really. Be sure to share the secret about the food at Margarita’s before you do.
For further information, call 661-255-1136 or visit them at 23320 Valencia Boulevard, 91355.