Feb 02 2012
Some people complain about how many Americans there are in Phnom Penh, but the upside of their presence is the excellent supply (and demand) for American-style Mexican food. For the purpose of this review, when I say Mexican food, I mean California-style Mexican food, which is outstanding but perhaps closer to what you’d find in Oakland and not Oaxaca.
Garage’s proprietor hails from Los Angeles where he grew up eating California Mexican food (and lots of Hollywood Peruvian food, of course). He’s attempting to recreate the Mexican food of LA at his bar, one dish at a time. The fish tacos and chicken enchiladas are particularly tasty. Two tacos cost $3.50.
9Eo St 110, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 754 763
For more generic American Mexican fare, Viva is a popular favourite. I’ve only eaten at the Siem Reap branch was was disappointed by the lack of chillies, but other people love the place. A carne asada burrito will set you back $6.
111 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: (093) 678 888
Casa Lika serves up tasty American Mexican and Khmer food. The ex-owner is from California, whose influence is still seen on the menu and in the decor (the place is Khmer-owned now). Be sure to try their San Francisco Mission-Style burrito for $4 which can be supersized for an extra $1.50.
16 St 136, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 429 542
The old stalwart of Cambodian Mexican fare, Cantina’s owner is also from California and the place is known for being a journalist hangout and also for its excellent frozen margaritas. The menu is ambitiously Mexican, but I often find the food doesn’t meet expectations and it’s never cheap.
347 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 222 502
Alley Cat has some of the better Mexican food in town — their fajitas are not to be missed and my friends rave about their nachos with queso sauce and fresh salsa. The atmosphere is lacking though, so it may not be the best place for a romantic first date.
42 St 19, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 306 845
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