Friday we made a trip to the Scout Shop and took the boys to the New Balance store at Ward Center to get some new shoes for school. The COB recommended the Mexican restaurant Compadres, which is right next door to Ryan's on the second floor of the Ward Center (upstairs from the NB store / down the hall from Borders). We've seen it several times, but never stopped because it's right next door to our favorite restaurant Ryan's. Since we just went to Ryan's last week, so we decided to give Compadres a try. I give it a thumbs-up for food and service, thumbs down for noise level and bugs.
The food was very fresh and absolutely delicious. The tortilla chips were fresh, very light and crispy, and the salsa was excellent - flavorful, chunky, and a little bit of kick. We ordered an appetizer of the guacamole and it was REALLY good (ALMOST as good as my wife's fresh guacamole).
The menu had a lot to choose from and it all sounded really good, so I asked the waiter what his favorite was. His response: Dos Ricardos. As a kid I loved New Mexico style enchiladas with the eggs on top. This dish was a tortilla shell with black beans, your choice of meat (I chose the carnitas), with three eggs (I took mine over medium), cheese, freshly diced pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, guacamole and sour cream. It was REALLY good.
They had a small section of non-Mexican things on the back side of the menu. They also had a KIDS menu with basic tacos, quesadillas, corn dogs, fries, etc. The boys enjoyed their taco and corn dog.
The service was friendly, courteous, and professional - above average by Hawaii standards.
Prices were a little on the high side (entrees in the $15 to $25 range), but it was worth it both in terms of the freshness and quality of the food and in terms of the portion sizes they give you.
My two complaints about Compadres were the noise and the bugs. They could seriously use some sound dampening materials on the ceiling. My wife and I couldn't hear each other talking across the table from the general noise level of people talking reverberating off the walls and ceiling. There were several flies and other bugs bouncing around on the inside of the window next to our table. Recommendation to the manager: Buy a fly swatter and get rid of a few of those bastards in between customers occupying the table.
Other than some grafitti, the men's bathroom was clean and in fairly good repair. My wife complained that the ladies room was disgusting though.