I have been to many Mexican joints far from the border, close to the border, and actually across the border and can declare that my #1 choice for where to eat Comfort Mexican Food is La Bamba (South Florida). I added the word "Comfort" in there because there are some authentic Mexican meals that I have enjoyed unavailable at La Bamba (i.e. Fresh Ceviche served ocean side), but when it comes to the meat, cheese, beans, and some kind of tortilla combination, they are spot on. There are 5 different locations, all within an hour radius of my house, and I have been to all but one of them over the last 20 years. I don't actually have a favorite one because they all offer the same thing-consistency. It's always a casual, family friendly environment, with the Mexican and Spanish meals tasting the same each time and adequate service (nothing over the top, but they get the job done).
For one of my birthday celebrations, the husband and I planned on going out for a romantic dinner so, we got dressed to impress and headed to Michelle Bernstein's (Palm Beach, FL), located inside the Omphoy Hotel. Before I get to the dinner part, I must note that the property itself, which sits directly on the beach, is lovely. The boutique hotel's interior emits a warmth through its dim lighting and dark color scheme. It mixes a modern look with sophistication. I felt glamorous walking up the staircase that led into O-Bar, the posh lounge where you can socialize while enjoying cocktails and small plates. We skipped right over the lounge and continued up the second, smaller set of stairs to the restaurant.
Rocco is gettin' around and rightfully so! Rocco Mangel has been working the South Florida restaurant scene for quite some time and has established himself through his own chain of restaurants- Rocco's Tacos, now with 3 locations. The original is in West Palm, the second is in Central Boca, and the newest is in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I have experienced all three and can tell you that the upbeat, trendy atmosphere, the fresh guac (made table side), and the Prickly Pear Margarita are what keep me coming back.