"Everybody copies my dad's cucaracha recipe," Zambrano says. "But nobody makes it like he does. I have to have it at least once a month."

Prawns get packed into very good tacos, too, grilled or with an excellent smoky, Mexican-style tomato sauce as shrimp gobernador. Group them with seafood kin like tacos filled with chunks of lightly fried tilapia or stuffed with smoked marlin with tomato sauce, veggies, and cheese for a stellar seafood snack or light meal. 

For a fish dish of a more substantial nature, you'll want the Huachinango, a whole red snapper grilled to a perfect char, its head and tail sticking out from a white platter that can barely contain it.

At Mariscos Altata, a bounty of shrimp, scallops, fish, oysters, and squid tumble from the sea, eventually finding their way into giant glass goblets, steaming bowls of soup, and sturdy plates.
Jackie Mercandetti
At Mariscos Altata, a bounty of shrimp, scallops, fish, oysters, and squid tumble from the sea, eventually finding their way into giant glass goblets, steaming bowls of soup, and sturdy plates.

Location Info

Map

Mariscos Altata

5828 W. Indian School Road
Glendale, AZ 85301

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Glendale

Details

Mariscos Altata
5828 West Indian School Road
623-247-0731
Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Shrimp ceviche: $3.75
Octopus cocktail: $13.99
A la Cucaracha: $15.99
Whole red snapper: $18

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And for those who prefer their proteins land-based, you could do worse than the carne asada plate, a dish Zambrano says is one of Altata's most popular. Loaded with rice, beans, onions, chiles, and at least a half-dozen dead-on ripe slices of avocado, the generous portion of thinly sliced, grilled beef may be a little less seasoned than you expect, but it makes for a hearty, satisfying meal all the same.

Business has been so good at Altata, Zambrano says, that its owner is looking for a new spot for a second mariscos "cathedral," possibly in the West Valley or (her vote) downtown Phoenix.

"It will be a nicer spot with more modern dishes," she says. "And this time, not so loud."

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