From left: Enchiladas de Mole, Chilaquiles Verdes, and Enchiladas Verdes | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

In 2013, Mony’s became the Funk Zone’s go-to spot for hungry folks craving home-cooked authentic Mexican dishes created by Monica “Mony” Diaz. A native of Colima, Mexico, where she started cooking as a child, Diaz brought her handcrafted seasonings and family recipes to Santa Barbara first in a popular food truck and then to their hole-in-the-wall joint on Anacapa Street, around the corner from the neighborhood’s many tasting rooms. 

Mony’s staff with founder Monica “Mony” Diaz (pictured front and center) | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

“We try to bring to the menu comfort food that can transport you back to your abuela’s kitchen or introduce you to a cuisine that is often overlooked,” explained Mony’s son Carlos Diaz, the operations manager. “Mony herself has been cooking for the past 20 plus years, but she takes a lot of her recipes from all the women in her life, like her mother, Alida, and mother-in-law, Genoveva, who have passed on the recipes from their families on to her.”

After hooking Santa Barbarans up with this homestyle fare during breakfast and lunch hours for nearly a decade, Mony’s is now thankfully answering the question we’ve all been thinking: Why isn’t abuela’s kitchen open for dinner as well? 

“Everyone has been wishing for Mony’s to be open for dinner,” explained Carlos, so his family finally obliged, now also serving Thursday through Saturday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. (They did offer dinner briefly during the pre-pandemic summers of 2018 and 2019.) With the addition of wine and beer service as well, I could hardly believe that one of my favorite glasses of wine, Dreamcote rosé, is now being served at the same place as my favorite tacos. Explained Carlos, “We are looking forward to working with local winemakers, and showcasing Mexican winemakers as well.” 

Below are a few standout items from their new dinner service, which will only grow in the New Year. 

Mony’s Mexican Food Taqueria

Taquitos de Pollo:  Mony’s tender chicken is rolled in corn tortillas, fried to crisp perfection, and topped with chopped lettuce, crema, queso fresco, and a zesty taquito sauce. “We have added a few different menu items that we have had on our dinner menu in the past before COVID,” Diaz explained. These delectable taquitos were on their dinner menu pre-pandemic, and the team is excited to be bringing this favorite finger food back. 

Tacos de Papa:  There are few things more comforting than mashed potatoes. Combine those soft, satisfying spuds with the textural contrast of a fried taco shell filled with fresh pico de gallo, chopped lettuce, and queso fresco, and you’ve got a recipe to cure anything that ails you. “We are very excited about introducing our new dinner hours because it allows us to be more creative with the menu,” Diaz explained. 

Enchiladas Verdes and Enchiladas Ranchera:  “We have added two different styles of enchiladas and if Mony’s is known for something, it’s the sauces!” Diaz explained. “We take a lot of pride and care in not only our distinct salsa flavors like the pistachio, pineapple, and avocado salsa, but also in the sauces that we use to create our dishes like the barbacoa and mole.” These two new enchilada options come in chicken or cheese and are topped with their perfectly-balanced-with-a-welcome-kick verde or ranchera sauce. They are then topped with queso, chopped lettuce, pico de gallo, and crema and served with Mexican rice and Peruano beans.  

Caldos to Come:  The dinner menu continues to expand with seasonal caldos (soups/broths) coming soon, like hearty albondigas and traditional pozole. Mony’s also plans to partner with friends at Vega Coffee to create a tasty cafe de olla available to give guests a little pep in their step with that breakfast burrito. “We are especially excited about the new year because we have a lot of exciting news to share,” Diaz said. We’ll be ready!

217 Anacapa St.; (805) 895-2978;

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