If you're in the mood for something a little different, why not check out La Hacienda Restaurant, in the shadow of Lone Mountain in North Las Vegas? It might appear to be a typical el barrio Mexican restaurant ... ah, but looks can be deceiving.
- La Hacienda Restaurant
- 5482 E. Lake Mead Blvd.
- 9 a.m. - 10 p.m., closed Tuesday
Much like the costumed lucha libre heroes of Mexican wrestling, the unassuming Hacienda transforms around nightfall. Thursday through Sunday evenings after 4, the front parking lot transforms into an impromptu BBQ stand with al pastor spinning on a vertical rotisserie. These delicious tacos are inexpensive ($1.25 each) and plentiful; have them alongside the cheap Mexican beers served by the bucket. Adorned with hot salsa, cilantro and onion and served in housemade tortillas, they are a shining example of simplicity at its best.
If the al pastor is the headliner of the menu, the parilladas de carne ($35) are its hardworking partner. Imagine an aluminum tray overflowing with three kinds of meat — bistec, carnitas and pollo — and you’ve got the picture. The menu advertises that the entrée serves four, but I’ve had upwards of eight and been unable to dent it. The meat is accompanied by papas fritas, freshly sliced avocado, a sprinkling of queso fresco and housemade tortillas, all of which complement the smoky meats.
Adding to the fun: street-roaming mariachi bands periodically appear to belt out tunes. Meat, beer and mariachi — what more could anyone need?