CASA Cocina y Cantina

CASA Margarita

A few weeks ago, I went to CASA to check out dinner. I’ve been before but when I heard they had a new chef,  Chef Alex Moreno, I was interested in seeing his spin on the nuevo Latino fare.  We had margaritas and (boozy) agua frescas along with an array of finger foods.

miniture pork sopes

tortas de carnitas (sliders)

chicken flautas

My fave of these three; pork sopes, carnitas sliders and chicken flautas were the chicken flautas. I was a bit surprised as I’m normally a fan of pork over chicken. But the chicken was moist and flavorful. And combined with guacamole (which I ate on practically everything), they were simply addicting. The guacamole comes with two hot sauces so you can customize the heat of your guac. I preferred mine a bit mild but every now and then would add a single drop or two to my dishes. That’s all you need! The habenero and jalepeno sauces are muy caliente!

shrimp tacos

Chef Alex's chicken taco

I was really surprised by the tacos. They were light and had the slightest hint of Asian flavors. The shrimp reminded me a bit of Chinese honey walnut shrimp and the herbs and sauce on the chicken were quite tangy.  I liked how the tortilla was crispy for the Yucatan style chicken taco. I really shouldn’t have finished the two tacos because were were heading into food coma territory and with main entrees coming, what was I thinking?

watermelon agua fresca

Although I drink tequila and the occasional margarita, I was more into the watermelon agua fresca (which is available for cheap on the happy hour menu, Monday through Fridays, 4:30 to 6:30).

tamale de elote

For the vegetarians, you might want to try the corn tamale. Very delicate with a nice amount of chewy corn and a touch of sweetness.

carnitas

short ribs

Ah, the meat! Bring on the carnitas and short ribs! I really liked the carnitas with the potato and pork belly hash. That really made the dish and almost stole the show.

The short ribs “birria” was a nice slow-cooked dish.  The chef explained you can eat it three ways; as is, as soup or as tacos. I was too full to try it as a taco but the meat was fork-tender.

I had to take the dessert to go but not without taking in just one bite of the delicious pot au creme with plantains and caramel.

CASA Cocina y Cantina

350 South Grand Avenue
2 California Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213.621.2249

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