Had dinner with my 'Malibu' friend last night, and having tired of Taverna Tony's thought we'd try the new Casa Escobar. I go occasionally to the Wilshire Blvd. location in Santa Monica since it's location is perfect for me and the food is, while not outstanding, always acceptable. (Certainy better than El Cholo). Service has always been good there, for lunch anyways.
First, the Malibu location is all new and nicely decorated. Very comfortable booths with a being 'in Mexico' feel to the decor.
We met early, so the place was pretty much empty, except for a few people at the bar (more to be said about this later). Therefore, the service was excellent. Although few patrons did come in while we were eating it didn't appear to deter the service.
We didn't order any alcohol so can't speak for the marguritas.
The iced tea is the 'passion/tropical' type, no regular ice tea. We both felt the waiter should bave mentioned this before brining it. Not a problem for me, but my friend sent it back and opted for the leomonade. It wasn't fresh lemonade, rather a powder (Crystal Light) type. Bad start. We had our concerns!
The prices here are markedly higher than the Santa Monica location. However, they did have more dinner type of items. Lots of fish and shrimp. I meant to pick up a to go menu but forgot. The prices were up there for Mexican food (blame the area, I guess). Another fear for concern.
I had the Chicken Mole, my friend the Salmon special. Both were really excellent. Both entres came with a small cup of chicken/vegetalbe soom. Small portion but good flavor. The chicken (2 breasts) were abundently covered in a (slightly spicy) mole sauce with sesame seeds on top. Really very tasty! The the vegitables (broccoli and carrots) were good, cooked properly but somewhat bland. I didn't have rice or beans.
My friends salmon was also excellent and a little spicy. Again, no rice or beans.
I wasn't as upset with the prices since the food and portions were very good.
The only major drawback is that the bar, which is in the front part of the restaurant, is wide open - in other words - not partitioned off or separated in any way. The group at the bar, although a small one, was unbelievably loud. The yelling and laughter was reminiscent of a Monday night (during football season)at Chili's. Even though we were in the back the noise level was not consistent with the ambience of the restaurant. Maybe other nights it's quiter, however, I doubt it is on a Friday or Saturday night.
All in all, I will go there again, anxious to try other dishes and try not to grouse too much about the prices.