Local Cantina operates on the Grandview strip, preparing stylized interpretations of taco truck fare paired with beer, margaritas and other cocktails. The concept is reminiscent of Big Star in Chicago - a kitschy dive bar replete with inexpensive Mexican dishes.
The decor echoes this ethos. The walls are adorned with Mexican knick knacks and mustache artwork.
Bar patrons and tables are sated by the endless self-serve well of chips and salsa on the floor. While bottomless tortilla chips and roasted tomatillo salsa are tempting, my inner mysophobe thinks that this could become a breeding ground for germs during flu season. Consider this a warning for hypochondriacs.
The margaritas are made in a variety of formulations. Most are very good, but the drinks with agave nectar are overly sweet and lack finesse. The beer selection is good enough to keep craft enthusiasts as well as the Miller/Bud crowd happy.
The other appetizer dips are excellent. The guacamole has a great flavor with layers of lime, garlic and cilantro. The queso looks bland, but actually has a spicy base that lingers perfectly. The bottomless chips come in handy with these appetizers.
There are two vegetarian tacos on the menu at Local Cantina. The refried beans are vegetarian, and they are the base of a soft taco that also has cheese and the typical veggies. The rajas taco is a Central Mexican classic made with roasted poblano peppers, onions, cream and spices. The tacos pick up a richness that supports the smoky peppers.
Dessert was a deep-fried chocolate chip cookie that failed on every level. The texture was tough to the point of being inedible.
Service was uneven on multiple visits. Orders were delivered at inexact intervals, making it seem as if courses should be ordered in steps rather than all at once. Servers were not knowledgeable about vegetarian dining options, but also did not hesitate to ask the kitchen when requested.