Mariachi and indecisive paralysis

Illustration by Maria Ratinova

If the vegan section on Cantina Azteca’s dinner menu with nopales fajitas and potato spinach tacos isn’t enough of a draw to get vegan diners to this Carmichael restaurant, maybe the mariachi band that plays live on Friday nights can tip the scale. While there are only five vegan options, it turns out five may be sufficient to send vegans into an indecisive paralysis: The other three dishes include Azteca tacos (black bean tacos with purple cabbage, toasted corn, chia seeds), nopales tacos and a veggie bowl. The taco and fajita plates come with belly-busting heaps of shredded lettuce, guacamole, black beans and rice. There’s also a veggie tostada and spinach and strawberry salad that could be veganized, plus Cantina Azteca has breakfast and lunch service with smoothies and juices that have “detox” and “immunity booster” in their names. Find Cantina Azteca and a guitarrón at 6400 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael and online at