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May 24, 2012 05:26 PM

Re: Casa Luna Mexican Grille Somerville NJ

My wife and I had a great meal at Casa Luna. Started off with the standard chips and salsa but salsa was quite nice. The prices are very affordable. Everything that we ate was delicous. Byob as an added bonus. It is hard to find good Mexican around this area. This restaurant really hit the spot.

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    1. re: ThanksVille

      On Doughty, the end near the shoprite. It used to be another Costa Rican restaurant posing as an mexican resto

    2. Thanks for the tip - always on the lookout for good Mexican in the area.

      1. Is this the place at the corner with Veteran's Drive near Shumi the hidden sushi gem of Somerville?
        Last time we were at Shumi the former "Mexican" place was very very closed. We'd love to try it in hopes it could be a really nice addition to the Somerville dining scene.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ThanksVille

          yes exactly and to get off topic. I love Shumi. Have been going there forever.

        2. I completely agree with you regarding how hard it is to find good Mexican in this area. Have you any other favorites in Hunterdon or Somerset counties? Have you tried El Segundo in Clinton? It's been on my go to list for quite a while.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ambrose

            All time favorite for jersey is Jose's Mexican Cantina in Warren. Awesome Salsa Verde, you have to ask for it.
            There is one in Frenchtown that was pretty good. I cannot remember the name or if it is still open. I will get back to you on that. I have heard there is a good one in lambertville, again i do not know the name. There is Casa Maya in High Bridge and Meyersville as well. Think that is the name.

            No, I will add to my list El Segundo.

            1. re: Spaetzle75

              I went to El Segundo for lunch last week and my overall experience was positive. First, however, I must mention that the people who run this place used to have the Frenchtown restaurant you referred to. They apparently got tired of the flood issues in Frenchtown and moved to Clinton (they're at the top of a hill so should not be affected by any flooding in Clinton). The new place is their second restaurant, hence 'El Segundo'. The Frenchtown restaurant is still there and operates under the old name but of course the owners are new. No idea what it is like.

              El Segundo is very plainly decorated and, to be honest, does not look welcoming. They don't seem to have done much with the interior which, as you know, use to house Rise Bakery. I had tacos for my lunch and they were very good, though a little salty to my taste (I am very sensitive to the taste of salt). Everything appeared to be very fresh and the salsa that appeared before lunch was very good. Service was fine - nothing special - but I have been told by friends that service can slow appreciably when the place is busy. I've also been told that noise can be a big problem on a busy Friday or Saturday night. That is certainly not a problem, however, during a weekday lunch!

              I would definitely go back to El Segundo for lunch but would have dinner only on a week night. I will have to go to Casa Luna for a comparative study!

          2. Casa Luna IS a nice addition to Somerville's dining scene. Easy to find one block south of Main St.....easy parking, nice bright cheerful interior except for a sagging black painted ceiling, nice furnishings, comfortable space and a genuinely friendly greeting with comparably good service the rest of our dinner. It is BYOB and they cheerfully opened our beers, put the remainder on ice, brought nice pilsner type glasses along with a basket of fresh home fried and salted chips plus a rich salsa all within our first 5 minutes.....did I mention their great attention to service? We ordered the guacamole for 2 made table side which we were encouraged to sample allowing for a touch more cilantro and more lime juice. Avocados were RIPE, not green tasting and with more chips we played catch up after long work week and were never rushed to order anything more. A cold beer later we did order, both opting for different combination platters to maximize our sampling ability and the result was very very good on most items, outstanding on their Texas BBQ ribs and their tomatillo chicken. The only mediocre dishes were a surprisingly dry chorizo in soft corn tortilla and some very bland, unflavored and unsalted black beans....both of which are fixable mistakes. The bill for our lovely and very satisfying dinner was $35. Which is what we would have spent atone of the local diners or at Chimney Rock Inn or Applebees. Casa Luna is.worth a return trip soon and again after that. Up until now we had been trekking to Totuga's Mexican Village in Princeton or place in Warren but we don't see the need for those destinations anymore as long as Casa Luna stays around.

            8 Replies
            1. re: ThanksVille

              i thought the beans were good. I liked my chorizo taco. Did you have the Oaxacan platter? My only criticism of the guac was that it could have used some salt.

              1. re: Spaetzle75

                My wife ordered the Oaxaca combo while I tried their tex-Mex combo on the recommendation of our server. Both were good choices allowing us to share but I had to agree that the chorizo taco?/soft corn tortilla was pretty dry and the black beans were were bland and under seasoned at least to our taste. We shop at the Twin Cities market in Finderne which caters to a central American emigre population and their butcher staff make between four and six different versions of chorizo that we grill and or smoke....depending on the pork grind and fat content some take to the heat and retain moisture better than others. As lapsed vegetarians we have been making a variety of black bean dishes for years and perhaps have come to expect well salted cooking stock along with liberal use of cumin, chilis and cilantro to counter their inherent taste of the earth, sometimes even a touch of lime for a high pitch acid flavor tweak. CL's just didn't hit those flavor profiles.

                1. re: ThanksVille

                  Pretty sure that is how Mexican chorizo cooks up. I have eaten/cooked my share of beans. Still think they were good but not awesome. You ever been to La Isla in Hoboken? They have some awesome black beans.

                  1. re: Spaetzle75

                    We have never actually been in Hoboken. Worth a trip from central jersey?
                    Actually smoking some d'artagan's chorizo tonight on the BGE that had been languishing in the freezer since New Years. Curious to see if I can keep it moist before adding goya's mojo that I use as a finishing sauce. Smoker is going at 250 with some cherry wood chunks. I figure 90 minutes tops.

                    1. re: ThanksVille

                      My standby remains Joyce's Taquiera on Main St. in Bound Brook. Nothing fancy - it's the equivalent of one of our luncheonettes, which also happens to serve dinner, to a decidedly Spanish clientele in the evenings, but that's never stopped me from enjoying 'real' Mexican food should I work late.

                      No English is spoken here (for the most part).

                      1. re: JustJake

                        Ok nice sounds good. There is a grocery store on Main st Somerville that is the same way.

                      2. re: ThanksVille

                        whole foods has a good fresh chorizo. BGE? Smoked some sausage on Memorial day. Used cherry too. Yes it is totally worth the trip. You will be suprised.

                  2. re: Spaetzle75

                    As much as we look forward to a return visit to Casa Luna we just had a revelation black bean dining experience just one block to the north at Martino's Cuban Restaurant. Wonderful wet/soupy style with garlic, cumin, chili, cinnamon (??) flavors good enough to ask for a second bowl to take home. Realize Martino's is a completely different style of preparation than what we had at Casa Luna but perhaps worth checking them out.