Standards these days often defy description, but herein you’ll find treasures often imitated but rarely duplicated. How can something as simple as soup stir one’s soul, its shallow bowl offering so much depth of flavor? Lala’s Poblano Soup—rich, velvety, and garnished with ribbons of roasted chiles and a hint of queso blanco—is how meals should start (and could satisfyingly end for some). But we’ll insist on following with the enchiladas rojas, replete with red chile–dusted tortillas, stuffed generously with true queso blanco and gilded to perfection with a glistening layer of sautéed carrots, onions, and potatoes. Lighter fare? Tuck into the shrimp tacos, sassy with a house chipotle sauce, “frontera-fied” with Monterey jack cheese, and served bracketed with poblano rice and steamed veggies. The meal’s crown remains the local legend that is the Orange Surprise: addictively caramelized orange peel atop a grilled panela-esque cheese, deliciously reminiscent of a Middle Eastern sojourn with haloumi (or at least a faded J. Peterman catalog).