Pack up your forks and run to experience the wonderful flavors of Mexico at Los Nopales, 4544 N. Western Ave. From the moment we entered the restaurant, we were charmed by our server who obviously had a passion for peppers. Her descriptions and depth of knowledge about the ingredients in each dish left me wanting to order everything on the menu. Our meal experience began with corn chips served with two wonderful salsas, my favorite being the green salsa. The green salsa was a mixture of avocado, cilantro garlic and peppers and was so amazing that I asked if were available for purchase. Yes! I ordered the tilapia topped with dried, sweet, slightly spicy red peppers that were almost shredded and complimented with a garlic butter sauce. The fish was moist, flaked perfectly and the combination of the peppers and butter sauce was heaven. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the side dish of sautéed verdolagas with grilled corn, and sliced baby mushrooms.
Both the fish and greens were the perfect companion to moist white rice served on the side infused with the wonderful garlic and butter sauce served over the fish. This dish was Rick Bayless quality at a bargain price.
We also tried one of the combination plates which included carne asada and camarones al Mojo de Ajo (griddled shrimp). It was so refreshing to receive shrimp so large (8-12 count per pound) that were butter flied , grilled and basted with a garlic sauce and sprinkled with chili powder. The steak arrived, cooked perfectly and marinated ever so delicately that the steak flavor really shown through. Being in a restaurant named after a cactus, I couldn’t help but order a side of cactus salad which consisted of sliced cactus mixed with slivers of red onion, diced tomatoes, hints of cilantro and avocado topped with crumbled cheese. Delicious! The restaurant serves generous portions and has a B.Y.O.B. policy with a nominal cork fee charge. The restaurant offers specials every day. Before leaving, one patron suggested that we try the tortilla soup, for it was the best he’d ever had. I cannot wait to go back and enjoy the experience all over again! This was truly “eating well around Welles Park!” (Rating 5 out of 5 forks!)