Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yxta Cocina Mexicana (Los Angeles - Downtown)

StarStarStar½    

I'd give this place a 3.5 if I could.  Perhaps after another visit or two I'll bump it up to 4 stars. I really I doubt I'd knock it down below a 3 though.  The fare is fair here and the drinks I had were better.      

Pros:  Cocktails - The drinks I tried were good.  I had [In order of
           preference] a Agua de Sandia Sparkling Wine Cocktail, a
           Mexican Russian (made with Horchata, Vodka & Kahlua) & a
           Paloma.  I found the Cocktails lacking ever-so-slightly in
           alcohol but nothing significant to fuss over.  Perhaps, if my
           mission had been to come here, looking to go on a bender, I
           would have been bummed out, but I wasn't...because I didn't.
           :-)

           Interior - Sadly, I only really care or notice the decor when I
           don't  like it.  I tend to automatically assume places will look
           nice.  I care more about the size of the tables and distance
           between them.  I like a bit of privacy and I don't want to have to
           hear others' conversations.  The  tables should be large
           enough to accommodate more than just 2 drinks and a bread
           basket.  If I want to eat atop a night stand I'll go to IKEA .   MY
           PREFERENCES ASIDE, this place is none of the
           aforementioned.  THE INTERIOR IS SPACIOUS WITH A NICE
           DESIGN.

           Food - The Tacos Dorados de Papa were good but needed
           salt.  Substituting a Cotija Cheese for the Queso Fresco might
           have done the trick.  I also felt that a salsa would have been
           appropriate to serve with them or on them.  My order didn't
           come with one, anyway.  Luckily I had some left over from the
           Free Chips and Salsa to dress my tacos with.  All in all, it was
           still a good appetizer.  It's not often you find Tacos de Papa at
           restaurants and I'm glad i did.  It's a very comforting dish that
           comes with a bit of nostalgia from having grown up eating
           these suckers in my early childhood.  The Enchiladas de Mole
           and Frijoles Negros that accompany them were quite good
           too.  Canela Ice Cream worked for me as well.  It totally
           reminded me of eating Churros.  Maybe they should call it
           Churro Ice Cream!

            Parking - They have a lot directly in front.  Free at night and
            plenty of stalls.

Cons:  Location - 6th & Central.  Enough said.

            Exterior -  Does not appear remotely like a restaurant from the
            outside.  For how nice it looks in the inside, the outside is the
            antithesis.

Indifferences:
           Frjoles de la Hoya -A  bit on the salty side that night. Carnitas
           Estilo Michoacán - A filling dish but nothing special.  Lastly, if it
           weren't for the Chips and Salsa being free, they might have
           ended up on the CON side of things.  My issue with them, if
           you want to call it that, wasn't so much with the chips but rather
           the salsas that came with them.  They were just too cold.  It's
           like serving wine or beer at less than optimal temperatures.
           The temperature just deadened the flavor.  I had no problem
           with the salsa, per se, just the temperature at which it was
           served.  And Frankly, I didn't like the chunkier salsa.            

This place has greater potential.  I enjoyed it enough to want to return.  Check out http://Restaurant.com for a good discount.  I paid $67 post tip for what would have come out to $90.  Check out my photos to see if you think I got the bang for my buck.



Homemade Tortilla Chips & 2 Salsas



Mexican Russian – Hangar One Vodka, Kahlua & Horchata.  Paloma – Corzo Silver, Squirt & Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice.


 
Tacos Dorados de Papa – Spicy Mashed Potatoes, Cabbage, Crema Fresca & Queso Fresco on a bed of Mashed Potatoes with Rajas. 



Carnitas Estilo Michoacán – Salmon Creek Slow-Cooked Pork, Guacamole & Mexican Rice.


 
Frijoles De La Olla.



Enchiladas de Mole – Pulled Chicken, Housemade Mole Poblano, Crema Fresca, Mexican Rice & Frijoles Negros.



 Agua Fresca Cocktail - Tonight’s Cocktail was an Agua de Sandia Sparkling Wine Concoction. 



Canela (Cinnamon) Ice Cream. 


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