Best Mexican/Central American 

La Piñata Restaurant III

Conscientious lovers of comida mexicana who've dropped Taco Bell like a chalupa since the tomato boycott started don't have to miss out on the late-night nachos. An endless supply of fresh salsa and sizzling chips greets diners at La Piñata III, which is open daily until 3 a.m. Specialties include mammoth margaritas and huachinango al mojo de ajo -- red snapper fried in garlic oil. Fajitas are served on a sizzling skillet, and the wait staff keeps you stocked with tortillas, water, and beer. It's that great, basic, savory, and greasy Mexican food you know and love, for people who refuse to eat tacos served in a bulletproof box. The late hours and goblets of tequila are brilliant touches. Meals usually break down to around $9 a person, and the usual party crowd includes families and biker gangs alike.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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