For me, the big step up, is that it is fast food where you can eat quickly with a Silver Herradura Tequila Margarita ($10) in your hand! And it wasn't a bad one either! You can also have beer, hence the Corona ceiling art...
On the night I attended, there was a queue to the door, as people lined up to enjoy the Baja inspired Mexican cuisine at the communal centre table, and bar style seating. First you choose a style of food (think Burrito, Quesadilla, Nachos or soft/crispy Tacos), then a filling. We were given soft Tacos, a Quesadilla, some hard shell Tacos and Nachos...
Then you choose a filling. All of the pricing is done with respect to what filling you choose (regardless of what style of food you have). My favourite filling was the Carnitas ($9.90) which is pork that has been slowly roasted for six hours, after being marinated in lime, cumin, onion and garlic. Incidentally, food items on the menu are all under $12.95, and they are all reasonably filling.
As you can see, they were particularly excited by ladling on the guacamole... it was a tad overdone in my opinion!
Finally, you add a salsa. Unfortunately as we didn't choose our own, I am not sure what salsa we got. They are made from a range of imported Mexican Chillies (Jalapenos being the mildest, Chile do Arbol being in the hottest salsas). We found the food mild, so I am hoping that was just because they gave us milder salsas.
Oh and be careful - their burritos are particularly large!
All in all, for fast food, this restaurant does a reasonable job. For Mexican... well it's not trying to be Mexican per say - it's er... Californian Mexican, which is basically cheesier, creamier and milder as a style. But having a Margarita at a fast food restaurant - well that bit is priceless!
Mad Mex: Fresh Mexican Grill
Shop 2, 241-247 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9331 2288