It’s not California influence that gave this restaurant its name. When Joshua Morales opened in 1989, he wanted people to know that he served Mexican food, and eight letters for the sign advertising his nine-table eatery was all that he could afford. Since then, Mexicali has expanded, but it remains a cozy restaurant serving consistently good food, and that’s why it’s so popular among neighbors. The menu features mostly Tex-Mex staples; one exception to this might be the shrimp cocktail, a tall glass of shrimp doused in a Mexican take on cocktail sauce with cilantro, peppers and onion, and topped with avocado pieces. But overall, staying inside the box is what has made this place a favorite, especially considering the quality – and quantity – customers get for the price. Nothing on the menu costs more than $8.95 (except the fajitas for two), and most of the lunch specials are priced at under $5. Combine that with the festive décor, the Latin music and the personal attention the Morales family gives customers, and we can’t think of a better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.


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11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily