La Loma: Denver’s Iconic Mexican Eatery Still Flourishing After 35 Year

Enjoy barrel-aged tequilas and Tex-Mex fare in this casual eatery
mexican food

Robert Stern

The La Loma combination plate includes three of its most popular items.

What started out as a family-owned eatery serving food out of a small house has grown into a full-fledged Denver landmark. Today, the relocated La Loma Mexican Restaurant, owned by the Brinkerhoff family, has been serving up flavor intensive Tex-Mex cuisine in this Jefferson Park neighborhood for more than 35 years.

As you enter its 26th Street location, one of the first things you see is the large portrait of the original owner, Grandma Savina Mendoza. This location, with a view overlooking downtown Denver, was constructed by combining three Victorian miners’ homes (circa 1800s). Back when they used to name homes, these were called The Colonial, The Victoria and The Cantina. The décor emits a casual charm with red brick walls, exposed wooden beams and stained glass windows.

The well-trained staff does a nice job of making sure you receive your water and a basket of chips and salsa in short order. You can munch on these while enjoying their signature margaritas featuring house-made barrel-aged tequilas.

What distinguishes much of what’s on the menu here is that they use fresh, high-quality ingredients, most of which are made from scratch. Executive chef Efren Velasquez is passionate about his art and personally tastes everything that comes out of the kitchen. Unlike other Mexican restaurants, La Loma also uses choice beef, large-style jumbo shrimp, fresh house-made flour tortillas, and fire-roasted hatch chilies from New Mexico. Its guacamole is freshly prepared twice each day.

Its original famous green chili accompanies many of the dishes and is beloved by local regulars. The taste is slightly smoky and the thin consistency goes well with just about everything on the menu.

The restaurant offers both small and large plates with the La Loma Combo (small) providing a delectable assortment of finer foods including two mini chili rellenos, chicken flautas, and fajita nachos ($14). Of course, this comes with the green chili, sour cream, and homemade guacamole.

Entrees include cowboy steak ($19), tequila shrimp ($17), grilled fish tacos ($14), the Anniversary plate (La Loma’s family favorite- $14), and Grandma’s green chili plate ($12).

If you still have room for dessert, go for the fried ice cream. There’s no skimping on the ingredients here with a hefty amount of vanilla Häagen-Dazs® ice cream perfectly fried and served with whipped cream and a cherry.

After more than four decades in Jefferson Park, La Loma Mexican Restaurant is ready to move and expand again. On June 30, 2016, they will move to downtown Denver to the former site of the Trinity Grille at 1801 Broadway. Many of the same features and original décor of La Loma’s Jefferson Park location will be preserved and restored at this new location.

Other locations slated for the near future include a site in Platte Valley near the aquarium, another in the Castle Rock area, and a new concept called Sierra Grill in the RidgeGate community. The latter will showcase a large wood-fired grill and Southwestern flavors.

At the writing of this article, La Loma Mexican Restaurant is located at 2527 W. 26th Ave., Denver. Hours are Sunday-Thursday from 11 am- 10 pm and Friday-Saturday from 11 am- 11 pm.

FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the authors.

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