I don't really need to even make a case here. Rita's ticks all my boxes for the joints I love to frequent. What are those boxes, you ask? Well, here they are:
Well Crafted, Thoughtful Food (whatever the cuisine) that,
Shows respect for the ingredients, that is,
Made by people who show dedication in what they do, who,
Avoid pretension in all its forms
That is literally it. Are you a fancy joint that has a philosophy to your hamburger, to such a point that you'll only let me order it the way you want it? Pass. Are you a taco truck, at an intersection, that refuses to clean your place up? Pass.
Do you take even the simplest, pedestrian dish, and create it with care, using the best ingredients that you can find? Sign me up. Have a great taco, but take the time to make the shell yourself? Oh yeah. This Tres Leches isn't enough Leches?? I'm on board.
This is what Rita's does. This is why I go back. This is why so many people I know, who know food, return to this distant outpost, in a small strip center, time and time again. If these pictures don't get you there, you might want to have your eyes, and taste buds, checked.
Come here with your expectations at the appropriate level. This isn't your white table cloth experience, but there are some lovely embroidered table clothes, under the protective plastic. You won't find a Maitre'd. But you'll find amazing staff, Judy (the co-owner) chatting with tables, Javier in the kitchen, and some lovely food on the table.