Best Neighborhood Mexican Restaurant, West Valley Phoenix 2008 - La Perla Café
La Perla Café doesn't present itself as anything other than a homey neighborhood place to splurge on tasty Chihuahua-style Mexican cooking, but the truth is, it's a full-fledged Glendale landmark. The Pompa family got this place started way back in 1946, which, in the land of sprawl, makes La Perla older than most parts of the Valley. It's no wonder the eatery's stayed in business all these years, though. Handmade tortillas are a highlight of many dishes here, including tacos, enchiladas, and burros. Eight different kinds of quesadillas are noteworthy, too — go for the Supreme, with machaca, green chiles, sour cream, and guacamole. La Perla prides itself on its cocktails as well, although we can never seem to branch out beyond the La Perla margarita with strawberries. Give us a pitcher of that, and we can handle the spiciest salsa they'll feed us.