Where: 914 Santa Barbara St., 966-2860
What: Deliciously prepared Mexican food served in relaxed atmosphere where patrons can soak up their surroundings.
How much? Tostadas $12.50-$16.00, lunch specials $8.50-$11.95, Playa Azul burrito $12.95
The dish: La Playa Azul Cafe features fine Mexican cuisine, Jose Cuervo margaritas, and a colorful umbrella-covered patio on Santa Barbara Street. Its extremely lengthy menu features botanas (appetizers), ensaladas, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, flautas, chimichangas, and sizzling fajitas. The outdoor seating area barely peeks out from behind the bushes that line the sidewalk, making it sometimes difficult to notice if speedily driving by. The patio fills up quickly on a warm summer days and mild fall evenings when locals actively seek out a cozy place to sit back and sip on a margarita while grazing away at a full plate. The Two Flame Roasted Pasilla Chile is a favorite among the starter plates as well as the Snow Crab Quesedilla. The Playa Azul Tostada is a menu fixture offering a choice of grilled steak or halibut, sliced avocado, grilled vegetables, and grilled or shredded chicken.