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Mexico Cantina and Margarita Bar is located on the second floor of Ward Centre at 1200 Ala Moana Blvd.

Dec 23, 2014

Mexico Cantina Opens in Ward Village

Holiday vacation is in full swing, and a great place for festive gatherings after shopping trips is Mexico Cantina and Margarita Bar, now open on the second floor of Ward Centre.

The third restaurant from the owners of Mexico Restaurant on School Street and Mexico Lindo in Kailua is a multi-sensory feast — think live music, vibrant, punchy decor, and friendly service—true to what made their first location, Mexico Restaurant, a local favorite.

My tip: Start with one of the restaurant's grande margaritas. Served frozen or on the rocks, the 'ritas are generously portioned and run the flavor gamut from traditional sweet and sour citrus, Triple Sec, and Pepe Lopez tequila infused with lychee. Thirsty patrons can stop in from 3 to 6 p.m. and take advantage of happy hour specials including $3 Coronas, $5 traditional margaritas, $5 draught beer, $5 well drinks, and half-price nachos. I went with their strawberry margarita, a fruity libation made with fresh, sweet strawberries. Pair it with the Grand Zope appetizer, a thick homemade masa tortilla stacked with salsa fresca, cheese, lettuce, black beans, sour cream, and your choice of shredded chicken or beef. Mexico Cantina is also the only location to offer fresh guacamole prepared tableside to start your relaxing off right.

When you turn your eyes to the expansive menu, you'll see all your favorite Mexican dishes with American flair—big plates, a little less spice. Go for the fish tacos, laden with a seasoned "catch of the day" and served with Spanish rice and beans. I loaded them up with lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and salsa fresco for maximum flavor. Massive burritos, portioned for two, are sure to satisfy larger appetites. The monster-sized California burrito, served wet and stuffed with carne asada, Mexican-style potatoes, cheddar cheese, salsa fresco, lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream, was my favorite. You'll also find crispy tacos, soft corn tortilla enchiladas drizzled with rojo and verde sauces, fajitas, and salads. There are ample vegetarian options, and a special menu for keiki, guaranteeing a dish to please everyone in your dining party.

Mexico Cantina also serves south of the border-inspired breakfasts alongside various skillets and omelets. Get your veggies with the El Vegui omelet, a hearty delight with mushrooms, bell peppers, cheese, and salsa fresca served with hearty potatoes. Classic options, such as huevos rancheros and a breakfast burrito, round out the offerings.

This location takes advantage of its scenic second-floor setting, providing an outside lounge area and windows with a view of beautiful Ala Moana Beach Park. Sit at the margarita bar for drinks and appetizers or post up at one of the cozy tables.

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Mexico Cantina

1200 Ala Moana Blvd

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