BEST NEIGHBORHOOD MEXICAN, SCOTTSDALE - 2005
Los Olivos Mexican Patio
For a "neighborhood Mexican" restaurant, Los Olivos is nicer than most, which may have something to do with the 'hood involved, one where SMoCA and the James Hotel are its next-door neighbors. We speak here of the original location on Second Street in Old Town Scottsdale, a beautiful, rambling place with tasteful, Diego Rivera-like murals, stained-glass windows, Spanish chandeliers, and walnut-stained wooden tables and chairs. Owned and operated by the Corral family, whose patriarch Tomas Corral built the structure long ago, Los Olivos is also known for its hearty traditional fare, such as tacos al carbon, chicken picado, machaca, and "Mexican flag" enchiladas. If you want a combo plate of chimichangas and tacos, Los Olivos has that, too, and L.O.'s sopaipillas, fried ice cream or flan will have you loosening your belt and longing for a siesta. Good spot for impressing discriminating dates without killing your wallet or pocketbook in the process.