Four-year-old La Rosa still lingers in our memory for its outstanding carne adovada we first fell for, but rather than see if that’s still a champ, we push ourselves to try other fare. A Pueblo Poppers Special ($12) plates seasoned Red Bird chicken chunks packed inside Mira Sol chilies, with Spanish rice under a bright green, mild, poblano-cilantro cream sauce. Despite cheesy pinto beans on the side, it’s a light affair with simple ingredient expression. So goes the spicy jicama salad ($10) from the regular menu, with greens and purple cabbage, spiced (but not spicy) jicama slivers, cucumber, avocado, radish, and grapefruit segments under cilantro vinaigrette — a texture and fresh-flavor medley.
For requisite margaritas, we nab the The Dulca [sic] Vida ($7.50) of Dulce Vida blanco, agave and lime, easy and balanced. A Traditional margarita ($9.50) heads a step more mature and complex with Hussong brand reposado, faint Damiana liqueur (made with the Mexican and Central American herb) and again agave and lime for the sweet and sour finish.