I have say that the story of Sergio's departure, as broken by streetgourmetla right here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7014... was a sickening blow to me.
However, I have visited Chente twice subsequently and have found no decline in quality at all.
I chowed with 5 friends on Saturday and was treated to nothing but goodness.
I ask you; where else on the Westside (that's easy) or in the whole dang town could one enjoy a meal like this, with 3-4 beers for about 30 bucks each?
-- Salsa Verde (hot, HOT, HOT) with fine chips
-- Marlin Tacos 5 tacos
-- Shrimp Tacos 4 tacos
-- Camaron/Pulpo Ceviche
-- Chicharron Pescado
-- Mojarra Frita (large and sooooooo gooooood)
-- Camaron Pimienta
-- Camaron Borrachos
What about the snook (pescado zarandeado) you ask? Well, I was scared off, to be honest, by the loss of Sergio. I won't be again.
I stared a PZ down -- HARD -- it was on another table. I stared so hard that I may have scared some other diners. I tried to pick-up the scent (close, but no cigar). It looked exactly the same as Sergio's, as did the amazing grilled/marinated onion mixture that comes astride the beast. The folks taking the sucker down looked mighty, mighty happy.
I'm all for chef devotion, but NOBODY is irreplaceable. NOBODY.
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066