- gj Apr 7, 2002 12:36 AM
I had some of their cornbread at the Taste of Brentwood back in Nov. and it was easily the best I've ever tasted. Their menu seemed pricey. Any opinions of this place?
Trendy? Yes, but not without beauty and taste. I have never seen any other locations, but the Newport Beach (CdM) Bandera is actually quite nice -- both inside and out. Very comfortable booths with a dramatic "mood lighting" style of ambiance in a woodsy, ski lodge sort of way. I find it quite warm and cozy, personally. Pricey? Generally, with some exceptions. Most notably, for what I consider a very decent "dinner value", I submit to you the following.
Their rotisserie roasted chicken is among the best, most flavorful, and juiciest I have EVER had. For $14, you get a breast, two drumsticks and a thigh with a side of their garlic mashed potatoes. Granted, more than your average "rotisserie" chicken joint if you are simply comparing pieces. However, you simply must TRY the Bandera roasted chicken at least once before casting the final vote. Personally, on a good night I have never had better. And I am not usually a "chicken" guy in a place like this.
Oh, and also, the mashed potatoes that come with are just OK. Tell your server that you would like to substitute a small caesar salad instead. If you are hungry, ask for the large. I find their translation of the caesar to be absolutely scrumptious! I like to order extra homemade cornbread croutons and sprinkle them generously before consuming.
re: David Ford
I could credit a lot of complaints (or compliments?) about Bandera, but I don't quite see how a restaurant with a menu that features barbecued salmon, roast chicken, ribs, caesars, and spinach artichoke dip; and whose clientele features recent UCLA graduates, sales reps with hair gel, and other in-between types hoping that jazz piano, low lights and martinis will provide them an edge deserves to be called trendy.
Lest I be understood as disdaining the consistent option Bandera represents, I should add that I do often appreciate the artichoke, although I usually request it with vinaigrette rather than its usual hollandaise or mayonnaise style accompaniment.
Having eaten at the Wilshire and Barrington location at least 15 times over the years since they opened I can say:
-the cornbread is tasty, if greasy, but that's not always a bad thing
-the fish sandwich is good, especially when they are offering it with Halibut
-the artichoke is fine, but can be duplicated at home for a much lower price and better effect
-the chicken is excellent
-the ribs, (beef), are quite good, and tends to be the one item I have ordered more than any other
-they need to expand their menu
-they need to over some type of gravy or sauce with their mashed potatoes, which are very so-so, not to mention with some of their other meat dishes
-they have a very addictive banana cream pie sort of thing that I am currently day dreaming about
Their Roasted Butternut Squash (seasonal) is one of OC Weekly's "100 Things You Should Put In Your Mouth". Take that for whatever it's worth.