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Sacramentans are lucky to have so many options for terrific Mexican food. And while I often choose inexpensive taquerias for a quick taco or carnitas fix, sometimes I like to indulge at more upscale establishments like Centro Cocina Mexicana on J Street.
This festive restaurant, which serves up vibrant, thoughtfully-prepared regional Mexican cuisine, has been a popular midtown dining destination for more than a decade. This is not the place to come for Tex-Mex burritos and cheesy nachos – instead, try the kitchen’s earthy, satisfying cochinita pibil, a dish from the Yucatán that features achiote and citrus-marinated pork that’s been slow roasted in banana leaves, served up with pickled onions; and the pescado al mojo de ajo – grilled fish (I especially like the salmon) accompanied by a lusty toasted garlic-chipotle chile salsa, silky sautéed spinach and sweet-starchy plantains .