Bar open late (late fare menu until 1 a.m.)
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La Palapa Grill & Cantina Restaurant Review: The owners of El Azteca, the first to bring authentic Mexican cooking to the area, have since opened several more outposts, including this agreeable grill in the heart of historic Ellicott City. La Palapa, which means "tiki shelter," charms with its star-shaped, pierced-tin lamps, colorful murals, and namesake thatch-roofed structures that stand in as bars in the various dining rooms. Tasty versions of the usual suspects are here --- burritos, tacos, enchiladas --- along with more sophisticated fare. The pork asado burrito is a standout, with its savory chunks of pork and piquant tomatillo sauce. Even the sides --- smoky refried beans, spunky red rice --- are prepared with care. (Gluten-free versions of many dishes are available on request.) A menu of light fare, including homemade guacamole, is served in the bar from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Throw in a margarita, and you'll be ready to party, south-of-the-border style.