There are times when you crave a mellow and relaxing dinner. Mamá por Dios is decidedly not for those times. This modern, upscale Mexican joint is as dedicated to getting the party started as it is to serving tasty food.
With bright neon signs and a sea of plants and flowers lining the ceiling, the interior design is tailored to your Instagram. The music can be loud, often extremely so, reaching a crescendo if there’s a celebration of any kind in the house. Servers sing, clap, and dance through the dining room to boisterously honor birthdays and bachelorette parties.
The festive flair extends to the playful dishes. Behold the popular camarónes costa azul: Large bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese dangle from miniature clothespins over a salad in an eye-catching display.
Not to be outdone, the delicious esquite appetizer of mayo-laden Mexican street corn kernels mixed with Cotija cheese and Tajín chile powder arrives in a miniature street-food cart.
Presentations are subtler for the reliable ceviche selections. The camarón con pulpo version is a snappy, lime-forward mix of cooked octopus, shrimp, cucumber, and red onion with tantalizing heat.
De carne enchiladas offer prime beef tucked inside corn tortillas, delicately smothered in a well-balanced peanut-chipotle sauce. The cotton candy–covered unicorn cheesecake is as yummy as it is pretty.
Buyer beware: It’s easy to spend big here—Wagyu and Kobe beef menu sections begin at $95. Note that the Langosta Puerto Nuevo suffers because flash-frying the lobster tails saps the meat’s succulence. And all the accoutrements that come with a shareable churros dessert can’t mask their chewy blandness.
Through the culinary hits and misses, it’s hard not to get caught up in the nightclub-like swell of a good time that Mamá por Dios practically insists you have. If you seek a boisterous, high-energy restaurant outing, Mamá delivers.
Best dishes at Mamá por Dios
Esquite, camarón con pulpo ceviche, de carne enchiladas
Starters, $12–$38; entrées, $20–$85 (excluding Wagyu and Kobe beef menus); desserts, $13–$26
12225 E. Foothill Boulevard