Las Cascadas Mexican Cuisine and Cantina, 4200 Chino Hills Parkway (at Pipeline), Chino Hills
In the busy Chino Hills Marketplace, the sitdown Mexican restaurant Las Cascadas opened in December 2010 in the space previously occupied by the mediocre Salsitas, followed by Sandra’s and El Tepeyac. I had dinner there with a couple of friends the other night.
Once you’ve fought your way through the ill-designed parking lot, the restaurant is kind of snazzy: a broad bank of windows, solid tables, high-backed wooden chairs and a continuous, sofa-like bench along the window frontage. The decor is simple and tasteful.
It was Taco Tuesday and, as long as you get a bar drink (basically, anything but a soda), you can order off that menu. I got three $1.50 tacos (pictured above) and a horchata ($2.50); one friend had a chimichanga, hardshell beef taco and bean and cheese sope ($1.50 each, pictured below), the other the fish ceviche ($9, dinner portion, pictured at bottom).
Now, let’s be clear. You could get better Mexican food at many taquerias in the region. There is a reason you don’t automatically think of Chino Hills and Mexican food together. (Asian food is the thing to get.) That said, the atmosphere was really comfortable, the interior well designed, one of the more impressive Mexican restaurant interiors in these parts, and the food pretty good for a white person’s Mexican food experience. It’s like a hip El Torito.
And if it’s good enough for Gov. Jerry Brown, who dropped in unexpectedly for dinner in April, then you might like it too.