Restaurants & Bars 11

fiesta del mar [Mtn. View]

ed | Feb 9, 2004 05:00 PM

as with movies, the best way to food disappointment for me is to follow the recommendation of a friend. i even recalled this as i walked in to this mt.view favorite, but, well, hope springs eternal, eh?

so as the name suggests, they specialize in mariscos, particularly shrimp. my friend had the camarones margaritas, which of course i sampled. it is an unusual presentation, but it just wasn't that good. the tomatoes were mushy and flavor-lite (what should i expect in february) and the shrimp themselves were, i'm afraid, a little undercooked.

to be different, i tried the house specialty chicken (forgot the name) which is served in a roasted-pepper/sour cream sauce, derived from 'grandma's recipe.' well, the sauce was smooth, but i was disappointed to find very little pepper flavor. furthermore, they used chicken breast... i have a whole issue with america's infatuation with chicken breast. it is the driest, blandest, stringiest part of the beast, and is even the most expensive. when we select cuts of beef, for instance, do we not go for the well-marbled rib-eye? are we not prepared to pay a premium for the fat and bone-derived flavor we get with that cut?
so why do we turn that logic backwards with chicken?
alright, sorry for the rant, but the point is, the chicken breast was, you guessed it, stringy and bland. furthermore, it seemed to have been cooked separately, with the sauce ladled on afterwards. consequently, flavor-integration was poor.
also, the beans and rice were just routine. i prefer the tangy crumbly cheese a few places put on their frijoles refritos, not the tasteless gooey stuff served here.
other notes: the salsa served with the chips is quite spicy, in complete contrast to the food we were served.
the selection of tequilas and margies is extensive and not cheap. i had a margarita with a good anejo tequila, which was the best part of the meal.
the service was fine, but the tables are muy pequeno. hard to fit all the grub on it.
if you really want some tasty shrimp, i recommend gambardella's, as i did to my friend. yes, that's italian, review coming next.

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