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Casa Sanchez on Centinela?

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Who knows the beta on this restraunt where Magoo's used to be? Is it a sit down place run by the Taqueria/Carniceria people? Or, is it the same as the Casa Sanchez found in Long Beach or the restos and salsas from San Francisco?

It would be strange if it were one of the latter and they were opening directly across from the taqueria sanchez.

KZinCC

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  1. I believe it is part of the Sanchez "empire" in that area. I nice sit down version with the quick taqueria across the street. Haven't been yet (didn't look open when I went by last).

    It should make parking in that area even more fun.

    9 Replies
    1. re: BeachGrub

      They have a decent sized lot on site.

      Recently a friend got a sneak peek and had wonderful things to say about the decor and lay out. I LOVE taqueria sanchez for their shrimp tacos and comfort food like Enchiladas... I can't wait for the restaurant to open...

      --Dommy!

      1. re: Dommy

        Is this the east side of street or the, from the ground up, building in progress on the west side? Hey Dommy, check out the new place in Los Feliz on Hillhurst 1 block south of Prospect, The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, that's the name, Really good fish & shrimp tacos. The Lady won't let you get them to go, wants you to experience them at their best. Although she did give me shrimp one time that had been out of the fryer for who knows how long, I should have called her on it, they where still good. It is a build your own taco place, if they where smart they would start making their own tortillas, that would put them over the top.

        1. re: Burger Boy

          It's on the east side of Centinela, right in between where Short T's into Centinela on the north side (the parking lot is on the Short Ave. side) and Gilmore on the south side.

        2. re: Dommy

          Yes, it is owned by the same people who own Taqueria Sanchez which is kitty-corner to Casa Sanchez. He offered a few of us a tour of the new space a few weeks ago and it is gorgeous. They will have Mariacis on Th/F/Sat/Sun. Nice outside patio with a water fountain and huge booths and tables with hand-tooled stools from Mexico. Be sure to check out the beautiful mural in the bar area of 5 of the most famous Mexican Mariacis. It is great. He said that they had just had a wine tasting earlier that evening. They will serve Yucatecan and Michoacan food along with the usual suspects. I definitely plan on going.

          1. re: WildSwede

            Are they doing homemade tortillas on site at this location? A friend and I were discussing why would anyone go to Paco's when T-Sanchez is right down the street. I have three reasons:
            1. Handmade tortillas (very good)
            2. The pickled carrots, onions, and jalepenos served with the bucket o' chips and good salsa (way better than Sanchez imo)
            3. Margaritas

            I am pretty sure the new casa can handle #2 & #3 but #1 is the real issue for me when I want the sit down mex experience and too few do it.

            (I should also say T-Sanchez wins on a lot of categories like meat, tacos, price, wait, but I put them in slightly different dining slots).

            1. re: BeachGrub

              I'm not sure. I did not ask. Sorry.

            2. re: WildSwede

              "They will have Mariacis on Th/F/Sat/Sun."

              Thanks for the warning! All day, or just at night?

              1. re: Will Owen

                We got there at 8:30 and they didn't come on until 10 (I think) The room at that time was 1/3 full so they sounded louder then if it were a full house. I'm not sure if they had an earlier set.

                Take Care

                - P.

                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                  I was there at about 7 and they were playing in full swing. They took a break about 8. The taqueria across the street is so good that I had high expectations. However, I agree with the comments from Dommy and porkiepiggy, below, about the food. Sad because, as Dommy noted, there is a need for something like this in the area. At the recommendation of the server, I had the fried shrimp with chipotle sauce (more of a creamy tartar) which were just okay and then the steak fajitas; again, just okay--and did not come out sizzling. Oddly, I did not get any salsa, rice or beans with the fajitas (not sure if they forgot or do not serve them with the fajitas the way other places do). I had debated the pork ribs but was dissuaded by the server.

        3. What is it they are building on the corner?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Burger Boy

            I think you are referring to the building across the street from Casa Sanchez. I was told that building will be commercial space with an apartment on top. The street is definitely going through some changes.

          2. Does anyone know when they are set to open?

            1 Reply
            1. re: SarahM

              Sept 16 is the word, at least when I asked earlier this week.

            2. The restaurant is fantastic! I went to the grand opening last night and had a great time. When you walk into the doors, it feels like you are entering another world. In fact, they have an outdoor patio area that makes you feel like you are in vacation in Cabo. The decor is beautiful and the staff is very attentive. Our server was Bertha. We sampled various dishes and our favorites were the braised pork shank, rib eye steak and sole in cilantro sauce. They have a cocktail lounge and live mariachi performers. I was told that they will be performing on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun evenings. This restaurant will definitely bring life to this forgotten area of the Westside. Their number is 310-397-9999

              5 Replies
              1. re: proxybox

                Res tonight. (Hurrah, they're open on Monday!)

                1. re: proxybox

                  homemade tortillas?

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    Sadly not...

                    --Paloma!

                  2. re: proxybox

                    thanks for the review! do you know what the price range is for dinner? thanks!

                    1. re: proxybox

                      Maybe forgotten by some, but better for those who never did forget it... Angel Maid and Taqueria Sanchez across the street from each other... Sakura for so-so Japanese...

                    2. and do they have pickled carrots?!

                      1. Just to be nitpicky, it was "Mago's" not "Magoos." Many fond high school and college memories of that place!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: monkuboy

                          I have a slew of those memories too from high school - late night teriyaki burgers and cha-shew burgers. Those were the days. Probably nothing was good or of any real quality on its own, but together it was all magic.

                          Looking forward to Casa Sanchez, too. I was just at the taqueria yesterday and the new place looks great from the outside.

                          1. re: CulverJack

                            I've got reservations tonight and will write a review when I get back from eating. When I made my reservation I asked the hostess if they make home made tortillas and the response was YES. More later.

                        2. Ok so I just got back from eating at Casa Sanchez. The decor is nice but the dining area is one big open room with tables closely lined up next to eachother so there is no private dining to be had here. The booths don't feel private either. It's like eating with a big family of strangers. It took a solid 20 minutes to get our drink order but we cut some slack due to the fact that it was only night 2 of being open. I mistakenly ordered the whole fried white fish which was FISHY. The manager came over, saw I wasn't eating my fish and insisted on replacing it with another dish. I re-ordered the broiled sole and so glad I did. It was delicious. The chicken fajitas left something to be desired, a bit on the bland side. The home made guacamole was mild but good with little chunks of red onion. And lastly, even though both the receptionist and our waitress said yes, they did have homemade tortillas...they don't. You can get the same thing in your local grocery store. Overall, it's a good place to eat but if it's home made tortillas you are after, look elsewhere. Give this place about a month to find it's groove.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cherryblossom

                            Thanks for the review! Can you give me an idea of what the prices were like? Is there a bar as well or just the restaurant?

                            1. re: chowbee

                              Smallish bar area adjacent to the dining room with small but nice tables. Waiters have to pass by this area to go to and from the kitchen so it's busy. Chicken Fajitas are $17.00, Broiled Sole is $16.75, side of guacamole $3.00. There are less expensive dishes than these.

                          2. I just went to Casa Sanchez last night. I was debating on whether or not I should post this because I really have nothing good to say. On the flip side, I rely on the chowhound community whenever I try to find a restaurant so I thought I'd put my 2 cents in for what its worth. DISCLAIMER: It could've been that they were having a rough day, grand opening adjustments, or was unusually busy for them and they were still trying to figure out timing for larger group meal preparations. Anyhow, onto my thoughts and opinions.

                            I have to say that it was the worst Mexican meal that I've had for the price. I had the chicken mole that was so dry it almost had a papery texture to it. The spanish rice tasted like it was cooked only in chicken broth with a few veggies added in. There was no "punch" or flavor to any portions of the meal. I queried the group of 8 and all said that their food was not tasty. Most complained that some parts of their food was warm, while others were cold. This was a complete surprise to all of us as we have enjoyed Taqueria Sanchez on many occassions. The price point for the entrees were generally from $15 - $25.

                            The mariachi band was fantastic. Having said that, for a room that size, the number of speakers placed around the room was overkill. As in, it was killing my eardrums. I looked around the room (and our table) and saw that most people had their hands over their ears because the sound was so piercingly loud. Trying to have a discussion with anyone was impossible.

                            Hopefully, all these kinks will be worked out soon. The restaurant is really beautiful and has a lot of potential!

                            4500 S Centinela Ave
                            LA, CA 90066
                            310.397.9999

                            1. The reviews so far are really mixed.

                              It's interesting. I'm a fan of the Sanchez chain, but only go to the location on Inglewood near Culver. I buy carne asada there and like the shrimp burrito and other items from the "stand" outside where all the cops park and eat.

                              I've never felt the need to even go to the sit down version on Centinela. Now, these reviews have me wondering if this "empire" is best for the simpler things but haven't gotten more complex items down yet. Worse ... if bland is the order of the day ... I hope they aren't Americanizing the food for the masses. (And, while I write this, there are only a few reviews up ... need more info, mostly)

                              But, maybe it just takes time. The place is brand new and I've a habit of waiting a while to try new places to let them work the kinks out. I like the folks at the Inglewood spot, so I hope they get it all together.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: PaulF

                                Okay… I angst this thread all weekend. I love both Taqueria Sanchez restaurants, which as made my transition to living on the Westside much less painless. And Unlike Paul, I DID feel a strong pull to try their ‘sit down’ restaurant because I KNOW what an absolute divine experience that finely prepared Mexican food can be. To me, they seemed to have the fundamentals in place to step up to the plate to try to get at that level. And so, even though they had only been open a week, P. and I decided to give a shot.

                                Along with another couple of inquisitive hounds, we arrived to a full restaurant! I was overjoyed to see the room a buzz with Mexican Families and the valet lot over flowing with cars the likes of Lexus and Porsche… This just illustrated exactly why I was there… in this city, their truly is a NEED for genuine upscale dining. And those who do it right, the community will reward…

                                As noted, the décor is lovely and elegant. The main seating area is a little cramped through… with rows of tables occupying almost every inch of floor. Despite the Mariachi band, the din of the dinner chatter does envelop the room.

                                And now on to the chow...

                                You sit down and they welcome you with a little tray of fresh chips, which are wonderfully thick, but lacking salt. Accompanying are red salsa, which is reminiscent of the taqueria and a creamy fresh guacuamole, which infuriatingly needs quite a bit of salt as well (And perhaps a squeeze of lime juice!) Again, the serving is small… so be sure to ask for another especially if you order..

                                The Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche, arrived with a good sized mound of the fresh seafood along with thin strips of red bell pepper (Which was slightly bizarre!). The seafood was ‘cooked’ all the way through, which was a shame, with such fresh products, it would have been nice if they were a bit more ‘creamy’. Again, another thing we kinda were dispointed by was the fact that it doesn’t come with Chips. With four people at the table, our initial chip order was long gone before this plate even arrived… Further, the waitress didn’t even ask us if we wanted more for this dish…

                                We also ordered the Chicken Taquitos because I wanted to do a compare versus El Tepayacs. Well, not even close. They tried to fancify this by making them into these taquito/egg roll hybrid. The chicken inside wasn’t shredded even, it was more like a chunk of chicken breast that had dried out. They were crisp and not overly greasy. But they weren’t stellar. And in keeping with our ‘bizzare’ dish add on theme, the dish, which is marked an appetizer came with rice and beans…

                                For our entrees… P. ordered the stuff sole. Which was wonderful. The edges had been over cooked slightly, but the Habanero and Cilantro sauces were great! This is the type of dish with such strong flavor and delicate preparation that could only come from a Mexican Fine dining establishment…

                                Our companions ordered the Carne Asada. Again, excellent… The meat was absolutely cooked to order, it was thick, juicy and flavorful. Further, the plate featured Chipotle Mashed Potatoes which honestly was the best Mexican Side Dish I’ve had in a LONG time. I would order that plate, again… and again…

                                Sadly I struck out with my Entrée… I got the Pork Shank, hoping that it was as yummy as Enriques… Well it was just about as HUGE as theirs… but the flavor wasn’t as concentrated, nor the edges as crisp. The meat was soft, tender and rich, but it didn’t taste much like anything else. Further, the only other thing on my plate was a whole lot of their rice, which is pretty darn rich on its own. I wanted beans, maybe a relish or something to help contrast or brighten the flavors. Instead all I got was a lead stomach.

                                They don’t have a pastry chef, but a pastry supplier, so skipped dessert. The Margaritas were just okay… especially for their $8 price. And the Tortillas are straight up, Guererro, not home made at all…


                                For the price, despite some good dishes, this is no Babita or La Huesteca. And that is where my conflict is. Both of these are not the 12 minutes away from my home that Casa Sanchez is. In terms of West Side Mexican Fine dining, the only thing that comes close is Fridas (And that is even more expensive!). So part of me wants to wait a few months, come back and see how much they do improve. But then the other part of me just wants skip the bother, and just go get their awesome enchiladas at the Taqueria and save the bucks for another trip to Babita…

                                --Dommy!

                                1. re: Dommy

                                  Off topic question:

                                  How come when you order Carne Asada from Taqueria Sanchez to take home and grill yourself, it's thinly sliced, but when you order carne asada at the restaurant it's a thick steak.

                                  I know it must be obvious, but I don't know the reason ...

                                  BTW - When I said I didn't have the urge to go to the sit down place, I meant I stick to Inglewood and Culver but never went to Centinela (where you can sit down).

                                  I actually really want/wanted to try Casa Sanchez, but now I think I'll wait.

                                  Nice write up ...

                                  1. re: PaulF

                                    Carne Asada as the type you get at the store to DIY, is typically a poor mans cut and protein source. It's not really for a 'steak dinner out'.

                                    Again, a lot of people think that Mexicans wouldn't go to Fine Dining Mexican places because they can do it so much 'cheaper' at home. But sometimes you have a reason to celebrate and want to go out. Other times, you are craving mole, but grandma won't be in the country for another two months...

                                    --Dommy!

                                  2. re: Dommy

                                    Dommy Forgot the Pictures ...........

                                     
                                     
                                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                      Thanks pook! Above is my uber heavy pork shank and P.'s much more balanced stuffed sole filet...

                                      --Dommy!

                                    2. re: Dommy

                                      Hi, I'm new, sorry if I'm not so good at the netiquette...

                                      Has anyone tried Casa Sanchez again in October? I'm hoping they'll improve because it would be the perfect logistical location for a birthday for my sis-in-law in November. I might check it out in the next week or so, but was just curious (I've been lurking on chowhound.com for years, printing out recipes and reading forums, etc.). Thanks!

                                      1. re: blissfulmle

                                        We went last night. A party of five-my mother-in-law and her sister, originally from Mexico and named Sanchez. We have been wanting to bring them here. They got a kick out of it and had a lovely time chatting with the staff and requesting songs.
                                        There was a trio of guitarists playing and singing beautiful songs. The service was GREAT-from the waiter to the busboy, everyone was very attentive from keeping water glasses full to replenishing the seemingly bottomless complimentary chips, salsa, guacomole and pico de gallo (sp?). I loved the guacomole. I found it to be creamy and tangy with a bit of kick here and there provided by diced chile.

                                        I had the ceviche-I was surprised that the shrimp were cooked and the scallops were raw, however, overall, it was delicious and because I am on a diet, it was guilt free and very satisfying. I didn't mind the pepper strips as it helped me avoid them. Love chile peppers but not bell varieties.
                                        Two people had the tortilla soup-I had a taste or two and thought it was really good. Maybe less tortilla strips but that is being picky. Someone on a different site thoight the soup was lacking flavor and needed more cheese. It was light on the cheese but not the flavor IMO.

                                        I had the house salad with grilled shrimp from the appetizer side for my entree. I should have asked for dressing on the side as the greens were a bit wilted but the shrimp were moist but snappy and grilled lightly. I think there were five big ones, which is a lot for a small salad.
                                        One person had the chicken fajitas, which came with rice and beans and blue corn tortillas. It came sizzling on a very hot platter and would have fed 3 easily. I heard they were delicious. Two others had the poblano stuffed with salmon, served with grilled veggies and rice. I thought the rice was bland and pedestrian really-basic white with froxen peas and carrots. The sauce under the pepper was very creamy and slightly tart and spicy. Forgot what it was but I was caught dipping a tortilla in it more than once. Oh the tortillas! I know they are not hand/home made but...they are from blue corn and slightly thicker by a hair than a regular tortilla and much much more moist and flavorful.
                                        We had 4 glasses of wine,1 Sangria and 1 Cadillac Margarita for a total check of $147. BTW, the Sangria was too sweet but I liked the addition of taquila blanco (which is why I have a headache now).

                                        I know we will be back. I hope the menu expands a bit to include more vegetarian options and specials. They have no plans to open during lunch but if you have a party of twelve or more you can book a daytime meal. Great for holidays or birthday parties.

                                  3. A group of friends and I went saturday night. As mentioned in the previous posts its as if eating with a large family with the long tables lined in rows through the center of the resturant. The service was impressive and our attendant was more than responsive with suppplying refills on the chips and salsas as well as honoring our request for the "hot salsa" the house doesnt place out normal. There is a caveat if you request it; its habanero and not for sissies. The portions are healthy as out table all ordered the rib eye. Unfortunately our server didnt ask how we wanted them prepared so all but one were medium rare. Although I enjoyed the emphasis on steak and fish, I wouldve liked to see more tradtional dishes offered maybe with a fusion to them. I can only say the only way our steak dishes were ethnic was for the jalapeno mashed potatoes. overall, the atmosphere is elegant and the staff efficient, but it your looking for traditional fare, regional or otherwise, it can be found for less.

                                    1. I guess i should give this place another try, but its hard to do so. I had been eagerly anticipating their opening for weeks because i live just down the block from them. When the restaurant opened, i called over there one night to place a take out order. The woman that answered the phone told me that they did not take call-in orders. I was a bit baffled and asked her if they did take-out at all. She said that they did but that i would have to go to the restaurant, place my order there and wait for them to prepare it. I told her that i would be happy to give her my credit card numbe over the phone in case her concern was that i wouldnt show up to pick up my order and she screamed "we dont take call-in orders...do you understand?" and hung up on me. I went on their website and emailed them about this incident and they have yet to reply (this was months ago). I cant for the life of me understand why they would have such a stupid policy or such a rude phone answerer. Maybe i will give them another chance, but i really have to swallow my pride to do so.