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Luna Mexican Cuisine delivers on food, ambiance

As soon as my husband and I entered Luna Mexican Cuisine, it was clear this place strives to set itself apart from other Mexican restaurants. The walls were painted in rustic, textured grays, a large chandelier hung from the center decorated with white-painted tree branches, and the decor consisted of shades of brown, gray and black.

Even the tables and booths were dark, as opposed to typical colorful decorations on the backs of chairs and seats in the booths. The glass-top tables each had a small succulent plant and a candle. The establishment had a confident yet laid back atmosphere that felt inviting and interesting at the same time.

My husband and I were seated quickly and served water with lemon, chips, salsa, and refried beans right away. We were thankful for quick delivery of the crunchy chips. I ordered a Jamaica Margarita ($10.95), also known as a Red Hibiscus Margarita with Gold Tequila. It came in a large bowl-like glass with a lime and lemon wedged onto the rim. The chipotle salt that clung to the rim was spicy, tart, and wonderfully refreshing. The margarita itself was invigorating, each sip finishing with flowery flavors and scents. A few dried hibiscus flowers floated on top with the ice, making the drink more aromatic.

Also on the menu is a Tamarind Margarita ($10.95) that almost won me over, but I will have to try another time. There was also a classic margarita, a Lemon Drop, a Cosmo, and a beer selection as well.

For dinner, I ordered Tacos Rancheros with chicken ($13.95). It came with on a huge white plate with a generous portion of Spanish rice, refried beans, sour cream, and guacamole. The rancheros were three fried corn tortillas stuffed with a meat of your choice. The chicken was shredded, crispy at the ends, and soft on the inside. The fresh guacamole and sour cream cooled down the rancheros as well as gave them a creamy texture. While the Spanish rice and refried beans portion typically goes ignored on many dishes, I appreciated that the refried beans were more of a thin helping rather than a heap on the side hardly touched. The melted cheese on top went well with the crispy rancheros.

My husband ordered an Asada Burrito ($13.95). It came loosely rolled in a large tortilla on a similar huge white plate. The top was smothered in enchilada sauce and served with pico de gallo and guacamole on the side. Inside the burrito was thinly sliced steak, beans, rice, onions, and tomatoes. The steak was tender and plentiful. Each bite contained steak, but the slices weren’t too large, making it easier to chew.

The menu was full of other traditional Mexican dishes, like Arroz con Pollo, Tacos Al Pastor, Chimichangas, seafood dishes, and more. Among the more eclectic burritos, the Burrito Relleno ($11.95) is the most intriguing, stuffed with beans, rice, and chili relleno and topped with jack cheese, sour cream, and parmesan. The Jalisco Burger ($13.95) also sounded more appetizing than one might think at a Mexican restaurant. It’s topped with Ortega green chiles, avocado, cheese, mushrooms, fried onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Carne Asada Fries ($11.95) is for those with insatiable hungers. The bed of french fries are topped with carne asada, sour cream, melted cheese, guacamole, onions and tomatoes.

Our waiter was attentive and quick with any request we had, not making us feel rushed and giving us plenty of time to decide on food. The overall decor and atmosphere was among the most refreshing part Luna Mexican Cuisine. It was nice to enjoy Mexican food in a different setting, even if it serves the same traditional dishes at similar prices. However, it will bring me back to try more non-traditional dishes on the menu, as well as to get the Jamaica Margarita again.

Luna Mexican Cuisine is located at 1310 Center Drive in Medford next to McGrath’s Fish House and Harry & David Country Village. It’s open from

10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. To contact the restaurant, call 541-816-4615.

The Tacos Rancheros with chicken at Luna Mexican Cuisine. Photo by Jordan Marie McCaw