By Denise Ortuno-Neil

Asadero Los Corrales delivers in so many ways! The Coachella Valley restaurant quietly sits as one of THE BEST Mexican eateries in the desert. Specializing in authentic homemade Sinaloa fare, with excellent service and lingering flavors, they will leave you wanting more.

One of two locations, their La Quinta spot sits off of Hwy 111, near Home Depot, the other off of Harrison St. in Coachella. The Coachella restaurant has been in business for over a decade, with their La Quinta established four years ago.

The windows covered with blatant menu signage, might give one pause to think if it’s a restaurant or specialty market. But don’t be mistaken, it is a restaurant indeed. Upon entering, it is not the blank walls that will invite you in, but rather the aroma that promises a more than satisfying Mexican food experience.

It is a seat yourself scenario at Asadero Los Corrales, which lends well to their casual dining room. The friendly server’s wave guests in encouraging you to seat yourself. After that, your table is greeted with chips and a little tray of salsa goodies. The restaurant offers a variety of beers (they make a mean Chavela) and an impressive selection of sodas, the cool kinds in glass bottles that you would find in Mexico, circa 1975.

So there you are, munching on the chips and salsa tray, trying in earnest to decide on what to order. The good news is that you pretty much can’t go wrong, and you will most likely measure other Mexican restaurants to the short stick that Los Corrales has opened you up to. That is what happened to us after we ate there; we were disappointed by the next Mexican restaurant we went to….it just wasn’t the same.

The first time we went we had the Chicken Enchiladas and Shredded Beef Tacos, both served with beans and rice. About their beans and rice, I could honestly go there just for this side dish. The beans are rich and velvety, and almost disintegrate in your mouth, and the rice is a perfect accompaniment, seasoned lightly with corn kernels folded in. Their tacos have a different element that I had not seen before. It came with a small cradle of broth to put on the tacos. We were confused at first, but then once we added it to the tacos, we got the point. Delish!!Albeit a bit messy, it’s totally worth it, and that’s what napkins are for anyway. Right?

On our next trip there, I had already mapped out what I would order, as I studied the take home menu beforehand. I had my eye on the Queso Fundido (melted Mexican cheese with chorizo, sliced avocado and tomato) and the Canoa de Camaron (refreshing Ceviche in a hollowed out cucumber). My boyfriend was slightly undecided, but ultimately went for the Wet Grilled Chicken Burrito with green and red sauce.

The Queso Fundido was just as fantastic as I thought it would be from its vivid menu photo. As a bonafide cheese freak, and chorizo lover, this dish beckoned me. The fundido was served in a curved pan, which allowed for the bottom of the cheese to have a light crust to it. It was served with homemade flour tortillas (corn is also available), that I could have easily eaten by themselves with a little butter.

The chorizo had an aggressive smoky essence, and was mellowed appropriately by the tomato and creamy avocado. It will most likely be my opening dish every time I visit Los Corrales….so good!!

My boyfriend’s burrito had a hefty girth, and was loaded with grilled chicken, rice, beans, avocado, tomato, lettuce and cheese (the lettuce and tomato are optional). He chose, with my encouragement, red and green sauce. Both sauces had a noticeable amount of heat and stood alone in taste.

The Canoa de Camaron was a bigger portion than I thought it would be. The shrimp ceviche was chilled and had a crisp savory character, with a bountiful amount of shrimp….they did not skimp. The leftovers made for nice low calorie lunch the following day.

Besides the dishes that I’ve highlighted, the menu at Los Corrales has other delicious items at every turn including Torta’s, Chilaquiles, Bistec Ranchero, Chorizo con Huevo, Tamales, Sopa de Tortilla, Pozole and the list goes on.

The restaurant is opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is very reasonably priced. I must note that Asadero Los Corrales is not fast food by any means, they make everything to order, with meticulous detail in the preparations….so basically, the food takes time, but it is so very worth it.

There are many great Mexican restaurants in the Coachella Valley, and Asadero Los Corrales ranks high on the list and delivers as one of the Best! I look forward to returning again and again.

Asadero Los Corrales is located at, 79710 Hwy 111, La Quinta, Ca 92253 760-863-0690 & 49-975 Harrison Street Suite G, Coachella, Ca 92236 760-398-1871.