La Familia Restaurant
The first thing you notice when you walk into La Familia, besides the crooning Latin music, are the luscious red tones that cover the interior. These tones instantly make you feel warm, even with a frosty snowbank just outside. The inside is festive, but not gaudily decorated to reassure the customer that the food is why you've come here--not the decorations.
Besides the laid back vibe--besides the friendly service--the real reason you came to La Familia is the food. While they do offer almost all classic Mexican staples, this kitchen does not overextend itself, and instead chooses to do its food selectively and with culinary excellence.
One reason that you'll keep coming back to La Familia is the salsa on tap! Fresh Pico, crisp mango, moderate-to-spicy reds, and my favorite--the superlative spicy salsa verde. Just a side note on this capsicum creation--most chefs boil their chilies when making salsa, which inevitably leads to a dulling of flavors. However, La Familia's team skips this technique--the result being an intensely satisfying verde with an unusually strong kick.
Besides their salsa offerings, people come to this place for the locally famous red enchilada sauce--in fact, La Familia only makes a red sauce because in most authentic Mexican kitchens that's all you'll find. On top of their corn enchilada or popular wet-burrito, this sauce has earned La Familia a top spot on any visitor or locals Mexican dining itinerary.
At the end of the day, the locals I know in Tahoe come to this place because of the people. Yesterday, my waitress Daisy and I spent twenty minutes talking about the town, her history, our other local Mexican favorites, the snow--things that friends discuss...
In a tourist town, it's easy to find the familiar chain--the predictable family sit-down franchise. However, if you've come to Tahoe to experience Tahoe--what a small town dining experience is without the culinary sacrifice, then you might want a taste of La Familia...