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Señorita WITH A MARGARITA. Azul Tequila owner Felix Aca says, “We wanted to make people feel as if they were in a Hacienda.” The eatery is located on London Road.

With temperatures lowering in Eau Claire, the heat is certainly rising at the new restaurant Azul Tequila, which opened its doors on Dec. 22. This locally owned Mexican restaurant is more authentic than any other I’ve encountered in Eau Claire, with the added bonus of a wide variety of dishes at a reasonable price.

Azul Tequila took the dull exterior of its box-shaped, London Road locale and gave it a fresh look. As soon as customers arrive in the parking lot they will notice a beautiful entrance marked by a big fountain, made from a “sensible but heavy rock called Cantera, which was brought all the way from Mexico,” co-owner Felix Aca said. Upon opening the doors you’re welcomed in a small, warm room with another flowing fountain. Open a second set of doors and it is as if you’ve just arrived to Mexico. Don’t expect to hear Daddy Yankee or Shakira in here. The music is strictly Mexican Folklore.

The walls at Azul Tequila may not be blue (as the name may suggest), but they are a nice reflective yellow, giving the restaurant a warm feel. Scattered around are paintings, colorful traditional ornaments and ceramic figurines, and arches decorated with tile.

“We wanted to make people feel as if they were in a Hacienda,” Aca said. “Every piece of furniture, all the paintings and decorations were all made and brought from Mexico.”

As customers sit on the comfortable high-backed wooden chairs, upholstered with leather, their wide wooden tables await with menus.

Not sure what the difference is between a chalupa, enchilada, or tamales? Don’t worry; the menu has a description of the Mexican plates on the back, as well as their pronunciations.