La Casita Mexicana -Recs
- ozzygee Oct 9, 2006 04:26 AM
Going this week, for the very first time.
I actually hosted a luncheon there in July and to tell you the truth, you can't really go wrong with anything you ordered. To see pics, go to:
Just scroll down towards the end of the page since this photoset contains pics of the Alamade Swapmeet, too.
For that luncheon, I was really blown away by their mole poblano with chicken. The mole is made up of 46 different ingredients and there was just so many layers of flavor that it was amazing.
The divorced chilaquiles also had two delicious sauces and were actually still crunchy as opposed to soggy. I also really liked the cauliflower cakes. Cauliflower tends to be bland in general, but whatever they did to it made that dish a wow in my book. Anyway, check out the pics and you'll see how tasty everything looked.
I agree that you really can't go wrong. The least inspiring dish I've had is the straight up carne asada plate, but anything involving any of the moles will be outstanding. Many people's favorite are chiles stuffed with picadillo and topped with a crema/pomegranate sauce. Also don't miss the poached guava dessert which is fantastic.
I was there Fri night. It's really easy to over order. The meal begins with chips drizzed with a bit of red and green mole. We started with a delicious queso fundido with chorizo, although in the past we had the queso Azteca, wrapped in banana leaves and its excellent also. Both of these came with housemade tortillas with guajillo chile in the dough. The tortillas are addictive, so be careful or you won't have room for more. We ordered chiles en nogada as well as regular chiles rellenos. They were the best of that syle that I’ve had anywhere. (Ask me later about La Cabanita). You better be very hungry if you order 2 of those rellenos. They are large in the first place and very filling as well. Of their moles, the mole poblano is my favorite, then I like the red, pipian, then the green. They also have a mole blanco which is intriguing, but we had no more room to even taste. The carne asada plate looked good, I had a sample and the meat was tender and tasty. Also, from a past meal, I do remember the chilaquiles divorceadas were terribly good. They offered us a sample of agua de pina con hierba buena (a pineapple water, but it was too sweet for me.) I stuck with my fav. housemade lemonade with chia.
p.s. If you want some good Mexican bread to take home, stop in the bakery next door.
So I finally went tonight and it was as excellent as I was expecting it to be. The wife and I started with the sopecitos, made with corn masa, corn masa mixed with nopales & corn masa mixed with guajillo chiles. It was good, I wasn't a huge fan of their masa, but the refried beans and queso cotija were very tasty. I had the horchata to drink (and again it wasn't the best I've had. It had a bit too much silt, and I prefer mine with more cinnamon and sugar, but it was okay.) My wife had their lemonade with chia seed. This drink was awesome. Next time I'll get that.
They serve chips with the their three mole sauces on all the tables (poblano, pipian rojo & pipian verde). It's a great way to let you sample the different moles, and my favorite by far was the pipian verde. It was like a more complex pipian rojo. I couldn't get enough of it with the chips. The poblano was good, but I thought it was too heavy on the chocolate note (a bit fudgy) and not enough of a chile note. Just my preference for mole poblano though, and even though I didn't love it, I could objectively tell it was very good, with a complex flavor. I would probably have loved it if I hadn't tasted the pipian verde!
So did I get the pipian verde? No, I got the mole blanco with pork. The pork was tender and juicy.The mole was a complex, medley of spices, like a mixture of the mole verde & mole poblano in terms of flavor. It reminded me of an almond sauce I had in a middle eastern dish,that I can't remember the name of. It was a bit sweet for me, however, and I don't know that I fully appreciated it. I did sop the sauce off the plate with their freshly made tortillas, though, so I did enjoy it. The tortillas themselves were good, but not great. They were very fresh though, so fresh they became stale very quickly. A problem they must be aware of because 10 minutes into the meal they brought out a fresh batch and took away the old. Some of the tortillas were mixed with guajillo chiles, though any chile flavor was overpowered by the corn taste, so it was more of a shadow flavor.
My wife got the chicken enchiladas with the tres moles. A smart choice--not having to decide. I tried a bite (of the green mole, of course) and it was heavenly. This place rocks. Next time I think I'll get the mole verde pork, though. Ya think?
The two other people in the party had the carne asada, which smelled and looked great, and the potato tacos, which also looked pretty good. We all cleaned our plates, so there were no complaints across the board.
As a bonus, there was a female mariachi singer and her entourage having dinner there tonight (at least we quickly discovered that when a mariachi band suddenly showed up and an impromptu concert commenced). She must have been famous the way the other patrons and the owner of the place were carrying on. I only got her first name (Carmen), but she had a great voice, and she was a good sport and put on a performance for the entire restaurant. Overall it was a memorable first night for us at La Casita Mexicana.
We were too full to have dessert after dinner, but we did sneak into the Reyes Bakery next door for some pan dulce. (While we were waiting for our friends, we noticed that cars kept double parking and parking illegally to pick up bread next door. So naturally we had to check it out for ourselves.) The place is open 24 hours Sun-Thurs & until 10:30pm Fri & Sat, which is just a ridiculous schedule. When we entered, there were maybe 12 baking racks in the center of the room. Fresh bread! Nothing beats fresh pan dulce. I got a coconut frosting pan dulce and pineapple roll. It was some of the best pan dulce I've ever had, super fresh & soft.