Authentic Mexican food in Kapolei, finally!
Food Types: Mexican
Payment: $ - Cheap - Under $15
Service Type: Table
This El Mariachi location, which you will find near the Kapolei Safeway shopping center, fills a much needed gap for good Mexican food in the Kapolei area. Getting to this general area is pretty easy but check the map marker for the exact location (building) because there are a lot of small stores in this mall which makes it a bit confusing the first time you are trying to find El Mariachi.
Once inside you can't help but notice how small the dining room is and it can get filled up during peak times. Because it is small and packed it can be a bit on the noisy side though that's just an observation and not really a complaint.
On to the food! It's traditional Mexican food being cooked up and served by Mexicans, just the way it should be. The menu is pretty large and has a lot of selections, most of which are the usual Mexican dishes of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, and so on. You'll also get complimentary chips and salsa which is nice to see when other places might charge for chips and salsa (yes, welcome to Hawaii visitors!).
We tried a chimichanga plate along with a combination plate which are the usual first time test items we get at any Mexican restaurant. Let's face it, if they can't get the basics right then what hope is there for the fancy items?
The combination plate had a crunchy taco, burrito, and enchilada with rice and beans and every single bit was beyond delicious. Their shredded beef is super tender, contained no funky bits, and was super flavorful and quite possibly my favorite shredded beef on the entire island. Rice and beans were both quite good as well.
We ordered the chimi with ground beef which was quite tasty as well, though not as flavorful as the shredded beef which was a tough act to follow. My new favorite is the Mariachi Tacos with steak. They're perfect for anyone who likes their food on the spicy side. You'll get two of these but they'll upgrade you to 3 if you ask (for a few extra dollars). I can't get enough of these Mariachi Steak Tacos. Just excellent stuff. Seriously, I dream about them.
Service here has improved a lot lately and has been consistently good for a while now. On our latest visit, our server (Guero) was excellent and very polite. By far the best service we've had here so let's hope this is a sign of things to come.
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