Food La La: Grand Leyenda Cantina

Aug. 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

In Hawaii we have tons of delicious restaurants to choose from when it comes to Asian cuisine, but Mexican? Not so much.

But that doesn’t stop my ongoing quest to find delicious Mexican food here on the Islands. This week I went to check out Grand Leyenda Cantina, a new restaurant at Ward Centre next to Ryan’s Grill.

I have to say this is probably the fanciest looking Mexican restaurant I’ve ever seen. The bar area is a highlight, with over 350 different types of tequila to choose from!

They have lockers which are used for storing personal bottles of tequila for guests.

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The outside bar and lounge area has a more casual feel but still has the beautiful view of the bar display.

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I sat in the lounge area to try their happy hour menu which is every day from 4 to 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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I ordered their blended strawberry margarita ($8.50). It’s made with real strawberry puree and Grand Leyenda Silver Tequila. Very refreshing!

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My friend and I started off with the happy hour guacamole ($5), which came with chips.

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This is the happy hour taquitas ($5), made with either steak or chicken. We got the chicken. They are crispy and perfect for snacking on with drinks.

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Here are the happy hour fish tacos ($5 for 2 tacos). I liked the grainy corn taco shell but the flavor of the fish was too light for my taste. Their smoky roasted chipotle salsa goes great with them, however.

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This is the “Mama’s Specialty” tamale which we ordered ala carte ($6.99). The full entrée comes with two of them as well as Spanish rice and beans for $15.99.

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The tamale is filled with shredded chicken and is soft and fluffy.

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We also ordered the chile relleno ala carte ($6.99). The full entrée comes with two as well as Spanish rice and beans for $15.99. The poblano pepper is filled with lots of melted cheese!

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I didn’t get to try any of their burritos but my friend Jacie Katsuda went last night and ordered the “El California” ($12.99) that is filled with steak, cheese, refried beans, guacamole, and crispy shoestring fries. She said that it was delicious and “tasted like a breakfast burrito that her Mom makes”!

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These carne asada fries ($12.99) are in the “Mexican-American” section of their menu. It’s basically nacho toppings with steak over shoestring fries!

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The grand finale was the fried ice cream ($6.99) for dessert. Our server suggested it after telling us she just had it for lunch. This is definitely big enough to eat as a meal. The taste reminded me of a crispy and gooey Cinnabon filled with ice cream!

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When we thanked her for the great suggestion, she responded with very sage advice: “If you’re having a bad day? Eat fried ice cream! If you’re having a good day? Eat fried ice cream!”

Grand Leyenda Cantina is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.
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Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at foodlalablog@gmail.com.

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