Tried the Velvet Margarita last night -- it's Hollywood's take on Mexican with a kitschy but ultimately pretty cool clubby feel. Yes - the occasional celebrity - Sandra Oh from Sideways was sitting beside us.
I was quite impressed with the food overall. Not everything was great - but the things I enjoyed were:
1) The free chips with salsa - wonderfully warm from the fryer, with three salsas including a mesmerising warm bean dip. It's worth ordering the fresh guacamole with it - no jarred stuff here.
2) The albondigas soup - a small portion comes free with your meal or you can order a large bowl - the turkey meatballs had a particularly nice flavor.
3) The chile relleno - they use a higher fat mixture of cheeses to stuff it than most places - that means it's ooey gooey good. Warning: unless you ask for it with sour cream on the side, the kitchen has a habit of spurting sour cream on everything, including this dish in particualr...
4) The chicken mole. Decent - the main issue with mole is that most places use a packaged base. I'm pretty sure that they do here, too, but the chef has doctored it up quite nicely - and the chicken itself is wonderfully tender braised stuff that they've already pulled from the bones for you.
5) Margaritas - some controversy on this, but I found the margs here delicious. They aren't bowl-you-over the top strong, but they are redolent with a delicious lime flavor, and even the low-end version uses a good tequila.
Some of my friends weren't as excited about the place - I didn't try everything that they ordered.
Prices are all quite reasonable - $15 for giant main courses including soup or salad, rice & beans , $5-8 for apps.
It's located on Cahuenga between Hollywood and Sunset. Reservations can be hard to get at the last minute.
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