Mexican restaurant returns to basics.

The former Dove Mountain Grill in Marana is now a back-to-basics Mexican restaurant.

The owners opened Lo Esencial (Basics) just before Christmas at 12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd.

The restaurant features small plates of traditional Mexican cuisine including soft tacos, burritos and tortas. Speciality items include fish tacos, carne asada and pork slow-roasted in Coca-Cola.

Prices run from $4 to $12; a giant burrito funs $20 and manager Chris Leonard of Nonie Restaurant fame said it's the "biggest thing you've ever seen in your life, as far as food goes."

"I've never seen one person eat it," he said. "I've seen two people split it or one person eat half and take it home. It was kind of like a joke at first but people are loving it."

Dove Mountain Grill, which was started by the folks behind the foothills restaurant Vintabla, closed in late August after nearly five years in business.

Lo Esencial is open from 3 to 9 Tuesdays through Sundays; closed Mondays. Details: Call 579-8999.

See more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.