Now Open

Now Open: PAZ Cantina Is Slinging Mexican Favorites and Churro Lattes

Chicken tinga tacos from PAZ Cantina.
Chicken tinga tacos from PAZ Cantina. Chris Malloy
PAZ Cantina, closed since late 2015, opened again about two weeks ago. The restaurant had to press pause to make way for the construction of new apartments on Roosevelt Row. After a few more holdups than expected, the restaurant is fully open, and chef Johanna Loarte is cooking Mexican favorites once again.

Tortas, tacos, burritos, and salads dominate the menu. Staples like flautas and enchiladas are sprinkled in. You'll find many of the usual suspects, like carne asada, chicken tinga, nopales, and barbacoa.

Though the restaurant describes its food as "traditional Mexican," there are modern touches: tight zigzags of crema, fries in one taco, a horchata cold brew.

click to enlarge
The front bar area
Chris Malloy
These touches befit the dining room. It is long and open and spacious, electric with murals that swirl all the way up to the front bar, where 55 agave spirits await.

PAZ keeps its doors open for the late night crowd. The restaurant is open until 10 p.m. weekdays and midnight on weekends (though the kitchen closes at 10 p.m.). Every night of the week there is some kind of event: trivia, comedy, game night, or live music.

Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturday, you can eat Mexican sweet breads or a menudo plate while bathing in the tunes of a DJ. A Bloody Mary flight just made its debut on the brunch menu. This features Bloody Marys green (green tomatillo and gin), yellow (heirloom tomato and tequila), and red (red tomato and vodka), each with its own garnishes and salt rim.

PAZ runs a cafe next to the restaurant. There, you can get Mexican Coke, kombucha tea, and standard coffee drinks and more specialty lattes (churro latte, Mayan mocha) brewed with Espressions Coffee Roastery beans. The cafe also stocks low-maintenance portable morning foods like grab-and-go breakfast burritos, fruit plates with tamarind sauce, and pan dulce.

click to enlarge
PAZ's front facade
Chris Malloy
And yes, the cafe also serves beer, wine, and liquor.

PAZ Cantina. 330 East Roosevelt Street; 602-883-3651.
Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight; Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy