BEST NEIGHBORHOOD MEXICAN, SOUTHEAST VALLEY - 2005
Rancho de Tia Rosa
This 8,000-square-foot hacienda-style restaurant is the kind of place you want to take mom on her B-day. The eatery boasts colorful tile-topped tables and collectibles gathered by owners Liz and Dennis Serrine during their frequent visits to Mexico. The place is named for Dennis' grandmother, affectionately known as Tia Rosa, or "Aunt Rosa," by her immense extended family, and the menu offers many Baja-style items, such as seafood tacos and shrimp quesadillas, as well as a number of more healthful takes on traditional Mexican fare. It's California that comes to mind when you visit Rancho de Tia Rosa, and at times you can almost imagine that you're at some beachside San Diego grub shack as you dine there. The cantina serves a selection of premium tequilas and can fashion them into 15 different kinds of margaritas, and the light, almost fluffy flan dessert is not to be missed.