English is barely a second language at El Camaron Feliz; but even if you don’t speak Spanish — as do the staff and nearly all customers — the folks here are patient and helpful. And the menu includes English descriptions of every dish.
As you can infer from the restaurant’s name, shrimp are its claim to fame. And they are happy indeed (camaron feliz = happy shrimp), served with heads, tails, legs, and fragile carapace intact, ready to be peeled. They come in very hot spicy red sauce (“a la diabla”), moderately hot and smoky chipotle sauce, garlic-butter sauce, or Mexican sautee sauce of onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers. And they are available fried. It’s a messy, multiple-napkin job to retrieve the meat of the whole ones, but it is worth it, for these are big, firm pinkies, so densely flavorful that even the zestiest sauces do not overwhelm their essential marine sweetness.
One page of the menu is devoted to flatfish as well as shrimp. Here you find whole fried tilapia, fish with devil sauce or garlic-butter sauce, and one grand preparation titled Cielo, Mar Y Tierra that includes fried chicken, grilled steak, mussels, and shrimp in chipotle sauce.
Seafood frowners needn’t worry. El Camaron Feliz delivers an expertly made repertoire of such Tex-Mex standards as burritos, tacos, chimichangas, fajitas, sopes, and tortas. And there are large lunch & dinner plates with rice, refried beans and pico de gallo. On these, you can have steak in sauces of varying flavor and degrees of heat, chicken grilled or fried, or carnitas. The carnitas are my favorite: big, flavor-saturated hunks of slow-roasted pork so tender that the slightest fork-tug separates a glistening mouthful.
Note that breakfast is served starting every day at 10:30am. The menu includes huevos rancheros, eggs scrambled with cactus chunks, and chorizo sausage.