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La Cabanita - Montrose - What to get?

ozzygee Feb 1, 2007 04:04 PM

Going there tomorrow night. Let me know the good, the bad, and the ugly.


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  1. Das Ubergeek Feb 1, 2007 04:20 PM

    The good: enchiladas en mole; anything with rajas; anything with their picadillo, especially the chiles rellenos; chiles en nogada if they have them that day; caldo de pollo.

    The bad: occasionally the chips aren't fried in hot enough oil and they get soggy and greasy as all hell. Do not accept inferior chips! Send them back.

    The ugly: the fights for tables sometimes. Throw those elbows!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek
      ozzygee Feb 1, 2007 04:49 PM

      Check. Thanks!

    2. Alimentary My Dear Watson Feb 1, 2007 04:27 PM

      The margaritas are good as well, imho.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alimentary My Dear Watson
        ozzygee Feb 1, 2007 04:49 PM

        Double check!

      2. m
        mrpullings Feb 1, 2007 04:51 PM

        Rajas con crema w/ warm tortillas

        1. c
          Cantona Feb 1, 2007 04:55 PM

          As long as you are happy with food only a little above the quality of chain Mexican places you'll be ok.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Cantona
            Das Ubergeek Feb 1, 2007 07:24 PM

            You must be thinking of a different place -- the place I'm talking about is miles ahead of any of the chain places. El Torito isn't worthy to clean the boots of the patrons of La Cabanita.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              joea Feb 2, 2007 10:49 AM

              I have said it before, and I 'll say it again. I have been dragged to this restaurant by many, and have ALWAYS left completely underwhelmed. I even live close and would rather go to El Charro up the street for some regular old 'everything covered in enchilada sauce' type mexican food and better drinks

              1. re: joea
                WildSwede Feb 2, 2007 01:47 PM

                I'm not a particular fan, either, but I will be going next week with some friends who will love it. Although they are better than the chains.

                1. re: joea
                  Griller141 Feb 2, 2007 07:41 PM

                  An interesting and unpopular observation. Which I share. We have been going to this place since they were on Foothill in La Canada. At first it was a revelation - we went every week for months on end. After they moved to Verdugo Road (years ago) things began deteriorating. Indifferent service, soggy chips, lukewarm food; the freshness and zing sagged. Have sworn the place off for the past two years. Maybe they were previously so good that they suffer by comparison to their own past performance. Margaritas were, however, the best in the area.

                  1. re: Griller141
                    ipsedixit Feb 3, 2007 09:49 PM

                    I have to agree with this sentiment. Never been all that enamored with La Cabinita.

                    Best part about my last visit was seeing Kathy Vara (from Channel 7 Eyewitness News) ...

            2. c
              chrisheadrick Feb 1, 2007 07:09 PM

              If it's a cold night, get the caldo de pollo....sure, it sounds basic, but it's good comfort food. To me, it tastes like a Mexican mother made it for me.

              The Chicken A La Cabanita is a pepper stuffed with ground chicken with nuts and raisins...good stuff...

              ...and an enchilada in mole.

              There's my typical meal there: a small Caldo with a enchilada in brown mole and a Cabanita stuffed pepper a la carte on the side. Three different tastes. Don't forget sangria, which is impossible to pour out of those carafes without getting ice cubes everywhere...

              1. c
                chowchi1 Feb 1, 2007 08:43 PM

                If you like pork chops the Chulteas en Pasilla - pork chops with a pasilla sauce is simply delicious - tender and tasty with home made corn tortillas, black beans and rice. The picadillo tacos are delicious as well. Almost everything is great here. The food here is nothing like the "chain places" -- it is much, much better -- no comparison!! Was just there this past weekend.

                1. p
                  pjsace Feb 1, 2007 09:07 PM

                  I went for my first time last week. My girl andI got the Relleno Trio, which is a sampler of all of their Rellenos. That was an amazing dish. The Chuletas de Pasilla was quite amazing as well. Great tender pork chops with a lovely sauce with good depth, spice (could have been hotter for me) and very savory (it was salty but the crema on top balanced it out).......I was quite impressed with La Cabanita, it is second only to La Superica in my book, but probably equal because of the full service nature and the margs. Can't wait to go back!

                  1. jazzlover Feb 2, 2007 10:55 AM

                    The pork chops - very good, generous portion, tasty sauce

                    But for me, the carnitas wins every time. Come hungry!

                    1. j
                      JimN Feb 2, 2007 12:19 PM

                      My favorite dish is the Mole Verde. Really interested, tangy, spicy, green Mole sauce. You can get it with Chicken or Pork; I prefer the latter.

                      1. ozzygee Feb 3, 2007 09:43 AM

                        Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I had the chuletas in pasilla sauce; the pork chops were very good, the sauce was amazing. A few others tried the mole enchiladas and mole tamales, and while both were good, I found the mole a bit too sweet. The margaritas were tasty (and strong, even the regular ones).

                        The ambiance was homey with a touch of refinement. I'm not a big fan of mariachis, but the instrumental trio they had was more jazzy and low-key and didn't make conversations impossible.
                        Overall I would say it was a very good experience, good food, and good service.

                        Definitely would go back.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ozzygee
                          Will Owen Feb 3, 2007 10:16 AM

                          Uh-oh, Mariachi Alert! What night was this? Do they have them every night? And if not, when? I really need to know, because we've been wanting to try this place, but when the mariachis come in the door we leave ASAP. Those and belly-dancers...

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            ozzygee Feb 3, 2007 04:15 PM

                            It was last night (Friday). Technically, they weren't really mariachis; it was more of a jazz trio. A bass and maybe 2 guitars. No brass. Very low-key. I hate mariachis during dinner and I was fine.

                            1. re: ozzygee
                              Will Owen Feb 3, 2007 07:34 PM

                              Okay, that's acceptable IF they're good. We went to Cabrera's once (okay, just don't even ask) and there was a "jazz" guy with an all-the-whistles computerized keyboard and a voice I'm sure he thought was a good one, though he was seriously mistaken about that. OTOH my kid brother plays bass with small jazz combos in various Nashville restaurants, and that's always a treat.

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