Taste

Cantina Laredo brings modern Mexican to Tivoli Village

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Bone-in carnitas? Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you tried ‘em.

The Details

Cantina Laredo
Tivoli Village, 202-4511.
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Until you see the menu, or notice the roving tableside guacamole cart, you could be sitting in the new Cantina Laredo at Tivoli Village and not even know you’re in a Mexican restaurant. It has the kind of sleek, modern feel that could fit any cuisine, signifying this place is about you, the customer, hanging out for a while and enjoying yourself. Maybe it’s generic or innocuous, but it’s comfortable. Of course, that wouldn’t mean much if the food sucked. It doesn’t.

There are mini ahi tuna tacos ($8.95), quesadillas and ceviche to match up with margaritas (with Patrón for $5 at happy hour) and get you started. Tons of taco and enchilada plates, too, including chicken enchiladas with mole ($11.85) and the intriguing avocado-artichoke enchiladas ($11.50). The specialties range from ordinary—carne asada ($18.95)—to truly special: Fiesta de la parrilla is a mixed fajitas dish with shrimp, beef, chicken, carnitas and quail. That’s one dish and lots of delicious meat for $21.95. Share it and leave happy. The carnitas are great, braised pork shanks with a splash of slightly sweet wine-chipotle sauce, and also tempting is tampico ($16.75), grilled chicken breast topped with sauteed artichokes, mushrooms, red bell peppers and sour cream-poblano sauce.

It’s the little things that make me think Cantina Laredo will work just fine, like the roasted tomato salsa on the table, and the fact that the guacamole cart engineer offers the option of adding diced serrano chiles with lots of seeds. Too spicy for Summerlin? You can handle it.

Tags: Dining
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