Dining out

Frank Murphy, Enjoy!

BURBANK -- The one word that comes to mind after dinner at Poquito Mas

is flavor. I was able to appreciate the taste of the chicken, steak, tuna

and shrimp without being overpowered by cheese or cilantro, as is common

at so many other Mexican restaurants.

But Poquito Mas does use plenty of fresh onions, so bring along some

Altoids, especially if you order the shrimp burrito. I went with five

friends on a busy Saturday evening. If you go to dinner before sunset,

bring your sunglasses, as the sun will get in your eyes on the patio.

We waited in line at the counter for five minutes and ordered from

menus posted on chalkboards above the staff. We had to wait for our food

for about 20 minutes. Most other diners received their food in 10 minutes

or less.

As the staff prepared our six entrees, some of our food cooled off a

bit. In all fairness, we had placed a large order that taxed the staff.

When I went to Poquito Mas about three weeks earlier, there was no crowd

and I found my food too hot to be eaten at first.

As a seafood lover, my two personal favorites are the huge Shrimp

Burrito San Felipe ($7.25) and the Fresh Ahi Tacos (market price).

What sets the ahi tacos apart is the incredibly tasty Poquito Red Sour

Cream on top. The chalkboard says the price for the ahi tacos ranges from

$3.45 to $5.75. We paid $4.95.

The favorite of most people at our table was the Chef Mex Special

($6.25). The dish is topped with an excellent fresh mango and red onion

salsa and served on fresh corn tortillas.

The "World Famous" Tostada ($5.25) is good, especially the shell.

Poquito Mas has signs stating it uses no lard and no MSG. You can prove

it by tasting the tostada shell.

I found the Studio Plate ($5.55) plain but perfect. The chicken in

this and all the dishes we tried was tender and delicious. I added a few

drops of Cholula hot sauce and loved it.

The last entree was the Charbroiled Steak Dinner Plate ($4.95). One of

our friends said the refried beans that came with it tasted homemade --

like her grandmother used to make.

The food at Poquito Mas was better than expected. We'll be sure to go

there again.

Frank Murphy of Burbank works as a radio producer and is a lector at

St. Finbar Church. He was grand marshal of Burbank On Parade in 1999 and

was emcee at intermission during several concerts at the Starlight Bowl

last year.

IF YOU GO:

WHERE: Poquito Mas, 2635 W. Olive Ave., Burbank.

PHONE: 563-2252.

LIQUOR: No.

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

PRICES: $3.40 to $7.25 lunch and dinner.

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