ELV used to eat at Frank & Fina’s Cocina all the time when it was on West Charleston.
Sometimes he ate there as often as once a month. Sometimes, once a week.
Once, when he was conducting discovery in a nearby law office, he ate there four times in one week.
Back then the operation had a ramshackle look and feel to it, and the food was, if not great, more than a mite better than any chain Mexican you might fall into.
Service was fast and friendly (still is) and there was always that off-the-menu habañero salsa on hand to give the food a much needed kick in the ass when it suffered from too much inauthentic gringo friendliness — which was pretty much all the time.
Several years back, F & F lost its sweetheart lease on the run-down place and moved to that godforsaken, megamall ghost town/parking lot at Flamingo and the 215 — a shopping center with all the charm of an airplane hangar. It upgraded its decor from low-brow, ramshackle Mexican, to middlebrow mall Mexican and did little to the food beside put everything on better plates.
The mole is still insipidly sweet and hardly spicy, the tomatoes stale, the beans like wallpaper paste, and the rice as forgettable as Mexican rice can be.
Somehow, none of this mattered when we were eating it in a shack. Now it just feels like another generic Mexican — overdecorated and under-spiced for your enjoyment.
ELV doubts he’ll ever eat there four times in one week again…and he just thought you’d like to know that.
Our lunch for one came to $15 + a $3 tip.
FRANK & FINA’S COCINA
4175 South Grand Canyon Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89147