Monday, October 29, 2007
A friend of mine was invited by Senor Sanchez to dine at his new Casa Sanchez restaurant in Mar Vista, in the old Marina Mago spot, just up the street from his taqueria. She brought me along to check it out (we ate for free). This place is a trip. It has a grand entryway with high ceilings and a large portrait of Zapata. There is a bar/lounge area, that overlooks the main dining room. At the end of the dining room is a stage where the 10 piece mariachi band plays (forget about being able to hear your conversation while they are playing - it is more like dinner theater than backround music). Very fancy, indeed. The places are set with salad forks and wine glasses, the windows are draped in fancy window treatments, McMansion style. Very festive. You do feel like you are not in Mar Vista anymore - my friend thought she was somewhere in Mexico, I was thinking more like Riverside.
He is trying to create an upscale dining experience, with traditional Mexican fare but with more focus on contemporary dishes with Mexican flare. They have the regular Mexican dishes like tamales, taquitos and fajitas, but the emphasis is on the chops and fish. These dishes are large - think about skipping the apps or taking it easy on the chips (which comes with a a dish of guacamole topped with salsa).
I had the steak smothered in a sweet wine mushroom sauce, that was much better with a little sprinkle of salt. My friend had the veal, also in a mushroom sauce which she enjoyed. The entrees are about $25, we had two drinks apiece, and 1 appetizer. The bill would have been about $100 - had I paid for it myself, I probably would have ordered less expensive dishes. The food is OK. If I am going to spend $25 for an entree, I would much rather go to Joe's or Lucques. I will go back to Casa Sanchez, though. I will sit in the lounge area, enjoy the margaritas and traditional appetizers, and the distance from the loud (but fantastic) Mariachi band. This is a great place to take the friends and family visiting from out-of-town for a festive meal out, that is not too exotic.
4500 S. Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066