January 10, 2012
Lalos Fine Mexican Cuisine (not to be confused with Lalos not-so fine Mexican in Illinois) is hidden in a strip mall on the border of Plano/Richardson. Easy to miss on a drive by. The exterior is unassuming, but the interior is lovely--comfortable, but not pretentious or trying too hard to be trendy. I enjoyed the sounds of Spanish classical guitar music, which added to the ambiance. One of our friends who has traveled extensively in Mexico said that he recognized all of the artists and songs.
Besides the traditional chips and salsa, Lalos served a complimentary warm black bean dip, which was delicious. The salsa had a nice spicy kick to it and the guac was fresh. Sadly no tableside guac--I know, I'm spoiled.
I ordered the fish tacos. The chef was happy to grill the tilapia instead of the standard fried fare. The red & green cabbage with carrots and cilantro slaw was a healthy, flavorful accompaniment. The creamy lime and cilantro sauce spiced with chilis made the dish a stand-out winner.
My mother (a native Texan who has lived in Pittsburgh for the past 40 years) is always up for eating Mexican food. Pittsburgh is not known for its Mexican cuisine. She ordered a combination meal which included tortilla soup, a guac tostada and a chicken enchilada with queso. I'm usually wary of queso, since it tends to be made with fake processed cheese. However the queso sauce was made with REAL cheese. It was way too cheesy and heavy for my tastes, but my one bite was decadent. Kind of like cheese fondue over chicken.
The tortilla soup was flavorful. I really should have ordered my own, because I wasn't able to eat enough of it to discern what made it special. The chef didn't overpower it with cheese or tortilla strips, so the broth's flavor came through.
Our friends had meat tacos and said they were excellent as well.
The dining room was close to empty at 1pm on a Thursday. The food and service are great. I hope their business increases.