When it comes to Mexican food, my wife Rana Bendixen is ultra discerning. Fortunately, for our Valentine’s Day dinner last night, I picked a restaurant—Leticia’s Cocina & Cantina at the Santa Fe Station Hotel—that delivered on all counts, starting with their just-perfect chips + salsa.

I felt like I scored a culinary winning lottery ticket by ordering the Pescado al Pastor: seared sea bass with adobo sauce, served with tossed greens, arroz poblano (which was a white casserole rice with cheese) + habanero mango salsa.

Rana kept it simpler, ordering what she described as a deeply satisfying burrito with potato, cheese + refried beans with a side of their wonderful cilantro rice.

I already dig Leticia’s groovy offshoot—the casual Mexican eatery known as Letty’s in the Arts District—and it feels good to now be in love with the eye candy-rich + price-friendly mothership where authenticity rules the day. Plus the waiters treated us like royals. Will be headed back for their Sunday brunch—the tres leches French toast sounds dreamy.