Mexican food in the Valley
We know Casa Vega is sort of tourist mexican food but we like the place, the Margaritas are good and it's closeby. Problem is it is jammed unless you want dinner at 5.30. We went over the hill to Casa Escobar which was similar but it's a long ride. Is there is anything in the Valley with good margaritas and "crab enchiladas". We were not happy at Ernies or Rustys Hacienda.
We really like Don Cuco's in Toluca Lake, their margarita's are excellent and I know they have crab enchiladas (I have not tried them) but other food we have had, carnitas, tortilla soup, cheese enchiladas, have always been very good. Fun atmosphere as well and you can wait at the bar while waiting to be seated and its definately not as much of a scene as Casa Vega. I am not a huge fan of Senor Fred, I think its overpriced for what you get, the bar is nice though.
Los Toros in Chatsworth on Devonshire west of Owensmouth, tho' it may be considered cross-country from So. Valley. The indoor seating and bar areas of Los Toros have a certain je ne sais quoi that I love...kinda seedy, dark, and mysterious. Outdoor patio is enormous, very convivial atmosphere.
Tequilas up on Victory (near Woodman?)...(I haven't been there since it was Ana's- but work buddies use to head there weekly for Friday lunch)...good margs. with standard combo plate, old school mexican, very reasonable pricewise.
Both the above don't necessarily have that ambiance you might associate with Casa Vega or Casa Escobar but are comfortable and carry on in the old school style.
Granada's in Burbank across from Costco is good food, and potently potable margaritas...not as far a schlep as Casa Escobar but schmoozy atmosphere, esp. at the bar.
(Senor Fred's in your area has good margs, but the attitude/ambiance/mes-a-mes food just doesn't do it for me, so not a place I'd go back to).
You took the words right out of my mouth -- Senor Fred's food is just eh.
For crab enchiladas you could go to Bahia Caporales on Magnolia in Burbank or better yet to Mariscos Colima on Vanowen. I don't know about the availability or quality of margaritas. Bahia's got the weird "look at our indoor palapas" decor, Mariscos Colima's a little more downmarket (but very tasty).
I can't imagine wanting to eat at Casa Escobar. Between the food (which would have to get a lot better to be rated even as "mezza-mezz"), the creepy aging lounge lizards, and the piano (is it still carpeted?), it's, er, theworstmexicanrestaurantontheentirewestsidethereisaiditdoyourworst.
Actually the crab enchiladas and margaritas are very good at Senor Fred in Sherman Oaks, on Ventura just west of Woodman. I am not particularly a fan of most of their generic Mexican dishes, but their specialties are actually quite good - things like cochinita pibil, their salmon dish, lamb shanks, etc.
As to Casa Vega, the less said about the food, the better. It is the El Coyote of the Valley, but without the fun.
However, for really tasty Mexican food, yet with no tequila in the building, go to Carrillo's deli on Sherman Way in Winnetka. They have beer and wine, very tasty homemade Mexican food of all kinds including handmade tortillas, etc. You will not be disappointed.