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Restaurants & Bars 2

La Cocina, Orinda

anli | Oct 13, 2005 05:12 PM

Heartened by the good report that susaninsf gave this local restaurant, I stopped in for lunch today to try it out. First off, there is major work being done in the parking lot, so there is no parking in front, but I found a spot in the adjacent lot and walked over. There was only one table open out of about 12, and it is open seating during lunch, they don't have waitstaff. I placed my order and sat down. My meal came in a matter of minutes. I had the chicken mole platter and an order of 3 beef taquitos. The beef was supposed to be shredded, but mine had grilled steak which was a little chewy but not bad. It came with a crema dip and a tomatillo dip was very watery and lacked flavor. I doubt that I would order it again. The chicken mole, on the other hand, was delicious. It came on a colorful plate filled with black beans, sauteed zucchini and squash, shredded lettuce and some diced tomatoes and rice. Plus, two small warm flour tortillas that tasted homemade. The shredded white meat portion was generous and the mole was flavorful. It did not seem spicy at first, but as I ate, there were hints of heat. I was too full from the taquitos and couldn't finish the mole. I'd like to go back and try a shrimp dish called Camarones a la Diabla described on the menu as "a very rich, very hot and very traditional dish. Not for the faint-at-heart..."

There are jars of green salsa and house salsa on each table. I tried both, but neither had much distinguishing flavors. Probably better to try the special salsas. All in all a decent place to satisfy one's Mexican cravings without travelling too far. My meal was on the expensive side, $15, but it could have fed 2.

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