Cafe Marimba is a lively Mexican restaurant down in Cow Hollow. They serve lunch and dinner, and best of all, they serve all afternoon, so they make a great place for a late lunch after a hike over the Golden Gate Bridge.
We always start our meal with a sampling from their excellent selection of tequilas. They use real lime juice in their margaritas and they offer samplings of tequilas, so you can explore the different kinds of añejos and still manage to walk back to your hotel.
They specialize in real Mexican cooking, not Tex-Mex, with an emphasis on seafood and tamales. They always have red snapper on the menu cooked in a variety of ways. This includes the classic Vera Cruz style as well as several others, some spicy, some garlicy, but all delicious. They also have excellent tamales, with red and green sauces, redolent of freshly steamed corn.
We've never had a bad meal here, but we'll warn you, they do get crowded, especially around dinner.
UPDATED 2007 - Cafe Marimba has folded. We gather it was a slow, unpleasant decline, and the restaurant has been replaced since. Unfortunately, the new place does not serve lunch, so we haven't had a chance to try it.