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Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Lala’s Is the Place for Mexican Food in Cudahy

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Alicia Guerra, the longtime Conejito’s Place employee who goes by the nickname “Lala,” has opened her own Mexican restaurant in Cudahy. Lala’s Place is located in a modest, 1960s vintage diner with booths, tables and a lunch counter that doubles as a bar. The bar offers a selection of Mexican beers and potent margaritas.

Lala attends to customers all over the restaurant. Those whose names she does not know will be called “honey” or “sweetie.” The service staff is also warm, friendly and efficient. Your meal will arrive within seconds after the kitchen has it ready.

The prices are pleasantly low at Lala’s Place. A taco a la carte is only $2, and the priciest item is a T-bone steak for $10.75. Most entrees include rice, refried beans and a simple salad.

Starter courses are few, but they include some nacho options and a decent guacamole ($4.50) that is more creamy than chunky. Choriqueso ($5.50) is a starter dish of mild, melted cheese with spicy chorizo. It is served with tortillas and eaten like do-it-yourself tacos. Be forewarned that this is very rich fare. The guacamole is a good choice for a lighter appetizer. You could also stick with the complimentary chips and salsa. The chips arrive with as many as three different salsas of varying degrees of spiciness. The mildest has chunks of fresh tomato and cilantro.

Lala offers chicken mole ($6.75) with a choice of white meat or dark. The white meat is a large, boneless breast. It comes with chocolate sauce that is much like mole poblano. Plate lunches ($5.25), featuring three different meats, are a bargain. The pork al pastor is a decent version of a dish that too often disappoints in the local area. It is even better as tacos, when ordered with just chopped cilantro and onions. Pepe’s lomo tacos ($9.75) are filled with strips of marinated steak, cilantro, onions and a dollop of guacamole. Follow Lala’s advice and request some limes on the side. Ditto for the tacos al pastor.

Another steak item is bistek con salsa verde ($9.75), thin pieces of steak in a green sauce of jalapeno pepper, tomatillo and cilantro. The ingredients are in perfect balance.

Lala’s Place does not offer an expansive menu, but what is offered is carefully prepared and affordable. The helpfulness of the servers is another plus. It is no wonder why Lala’s Place is finding success in Cudahy.

Lala’s Place

3470 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy

414-744-4417

$

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