Lisa Wong, chef/owner of Rosario’s, was one of the first local restaurateurs to raise Tex-Mex to a higher culinary standard by using fresh local ingredients and updated recipes. She was also one of the first to open an upscale Mexican spot in Southtown. Rosario’s remains as vital as ever to the local dining scene—and it remains as good as ever, too. The wildly colorful room comes alive at night, its walls lit by neon strips and blown glass chandeliers refracting the light. Tex-Mex staples like nachos, fajitas, and gorditas mingle on the menu with such interior Mexican dishes as enchiladas suiza, chicken enchiladas topped with a sweet white wine cream sauce; Veracruz-style tilapia, basking in a sauce of tomato, olives, and onions; or pork tips in a cascabel chile sauce. The dining rooms are large, which means you generally don’t have to wait long for a table—but it also means that the noise level can make conversation difficult. On Friday and Saturday nights, there’s live music starting at 8 or 9pm. There’s another location in the north, 9715 San Pedro Ave. (tel. 201/481-4100), but it lacks the neighborhood feel of the Southtown original.