Candente has multiple meanings, including “glowing,” “full of life,” and “hot tempered,” and this sleek new Tex-Mex spot is already lively with customers. We settled in with fiery dips, large margaritas (high price and low octane, though tasty), and guacamole in need of some oomph (even though it was sided by little piles of lime, red onion, serranos, and cilantro). Much better was the chile con queso, a light and creamy concoction that tasted grand with crispy chips. The big hit was the mesquite-grilled and mojo-lacquered Redfish Halfshell served on a plank with preserved lime, cilantro, jalapeño, and red onion with creamy avocado salsa—the whole package moist and just spicy enough. Both this dish and two combos, El Director and Plato Epico, tasted fine and were served with rice and a choice of four versions of beans. Least successful was the pork carnitas; though the grilled onions were nicely charred, the meat was overcooked despite its buttery dip.
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Hopping new site draws crowds for hefty Tex-Mex fare.