In reality, Los Jalapeños is far from the buried treasure it is perceived to be. It certainly has that charmingly scruffy appeal topped with an ample helping of kitsch, and there is no doubt that you can get quality fare for near hole-in-the-wall prices, but this taqueria is much more of a mainstay than its loyal patrons would like to think. In fact, established in 1996, it's practically old guard. A steady flow of customers visit throughout the day for a line-up of traditional a la carte taqueria offerings, including burritos ($3.50-$7.50), tacos ($2.95-$3.25), enchiladas ($5.50 for two), tostadas ($3.95) and the like, as well as a selection of platters ranging from combo plates to house specialties like Carne Asada ($10.95) and Chile Verde ($9.95), pork in a green sauce with mushrooms, onions, cilantro and zucchini.
By far my favorite dish was the Al Pastor, chunks of beef and pork marinated in chili and spices. I got the platter ($9.95) served with rice, beans, lettuce, tomato and tortillas. The meat had great flavor and was strong enough to support a bite with all the fixings. You can get anything from tacos to burritos with the Al Pastor filling, and next time I will.
Los Jalapeños also offers a selection of Mexican beers and a variety of margaritas, though unless you get a table outside on a sunny day you probably won't end up lingering long enough for more than one. It's not that kind of place. While the atmosphere isn't without its charms, and that divey undiscovered feel may be what drew you here in the first place, it's the solid Mexican food at good prices that will keep coming back.
601 NE Greenwood Ave., 383-1402
Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (9 p.m. in summer)