When I've thought in the past of the cuisine of Kyoto, Mexican food wasn't something that sprang to mind, until one time I was looking for somewhere to have lunch near the museums just south of Heian-jingu shrine. I happened across Reina de Reina, a colorful Mexican restaurant and bar that serves a good range of dishes at not unreasonable prices.
It seemed quiet when I went in, probably because I was the first customer, but the decor was enjoyably vibrant and cluttered; there are colorful hats and birds perched around the lowish ceiling, and equally colorful masks, paintings, hangings and photographs around the walls, which are a mix of bright ochre and exposed brickwork. The long wooden bar and sturdy wooden tables looked robust enough to survive a good few gringos being thrown across them, while the music was a slightly cheesy, incongruous mix of cantina songs and soft jazzy latin.
I went with one of the lunch sets, giving me a prawn and avocado 'Mexican Roll' along with soup, salad and a drink; the staff kindly allowed me to have a pineapple juice even though it wasn't one of the official set options. The 'rolls' turned out to be kind of taco-pastry cones, which were firm to the bite but slightly chewy once I got into them; they were filled with salad, a couple of plump, juicy prawns and a fat slice of creamy avocado, creating a melange of textures and flavors that I enjoyed a lot. The rolls were enhanced by the smooth pink sauce they were served with, while on the side I also had a few nachos with a trio of dips, hot and tangy.
Other lunch sets on the menu (mostly Japanese but with a smattering of Spanish) include tacos and some other brands of rolls, and come in at between ¥1300 and ¥1500, while other main dishes such as Pizza a la Mexicana, burritos (beef or chicken), enchiladas and Paella Veracruzana start from ¥1000: not being Mexican I can't vouch for its authenticity. On the side you can have salads, quesadillas, guacamole or tacos for between ¥700 and ¥1000, washed down with cocktails of tequila or rum, or a Mexican beer like Corona, Tecate, Bohemia or Negra Modela.
If you're in Kyoto and you want something a bit different in a fun, lively setting, then Reina de Reina is a good place to get it!