Casita del Campo
There’s been a lot of buzz about Mexican fine dining options in L.A. Mostly the buzz started talks of where NOT to go and options to replicate a certain restaurant’s menu. I know of a handful and been to some of them. My current love is for Rivera but I recall a fantastic meal at Babita years ago. I still have yet to make it down to the city of Bell but one day, right?
In the meantime, where do I go if I just want the “basics?” When I don’t necessarily want to eat my tacos standing on the street or when I buy the marinated meats from the local carniceria or El Super to grill up at home?
I go to Casita del Campo, a kitschy, gay-friendly fun restaurant in Silver Lake. I’ve been there more times than I can count but the manager and wait staff only have eyes for the gay boyfriend. It’s like our roles are reversed. It’s quite hilarious to watch him being greeted and I end up being the “guest.”
Chips and salsa hit the table with lightning speed. I used to think Casita made the best salsa in town. I’ve spent many a night trying to analyze it. It’s not complex. Rather, it’s just really good tomatoes with a little chile. But through the years, I felt there was a decline in their salsa. Or my love of chili verde has taken over. I’m not quite sure. Their chips are still very good though, always fresh.
I always start off with a cup of the albondigas soup. I just love Casitao’s version with airy meatballs and not too mushy veggies.
I’ve eaten through most of the menu but now I only order the camarones veracruzana, the shrimp with Veracruz sauce. The sauce is chock full of tomatoes, olives and capers. Between the sauce, extra salsa, beans and squeeze of lime, my dish ends up being more of a stew.
The gay boyfriend wavers between a chicken burrito or the mahi mahi. I had to laugh when he got the fish tacos last Friday and it turned out to be very similar to the mahi mahi. The chunks of fish were wrapped in the tortilla and then wrapped in yellow wax paper.
I’m thinking about trying their lamb shank next time though I know I’ll always go back to my camarones veracruzana.
It’s my Mexican soul food.
Casita del Campo
1920 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027-4740