Ok, I know, lots of regulars here just don't have a nice thing to say about Mesa anymore. Maybe it's because it's been around so long. Maybe it's because BF has gone all commercial. Whatever. All I know is my friend and I had a really delightful meal last night and both of us are at a loss as to all the bad-mouthing.
First, let me mention it was not a first choice for me personally. I had been to MG in Las Vegas. Loved my meal there, in fact, my husband and I thought it was one of our highlight meals that trip. So, I figured I'd already experienced the cuisine, no need to repeat it. Plus, I had low expectations based on what I'd read here.
However, my friend is a huge BF fan and has been trying to get to Mesa for years and for some reason never managed to. Both of us have been to all of his other restaurants, so this was the last to try for her. I relented, but did mention to her not to get her hopes up too high.
Well we were both pleasantly surprised to say the least. First of all, service was great. Our waitress very well trained, knew the menu inside and out and was not overbearing or obtrusive. She knew when to help and when to stay away and was friendly in a way which was warm but not annoying.
Having already eaten at this restaurant, I had tasted a few of the dishes and was able to steer my friend to some of the winners on the menu. The menu itself was a bit diffent than the one in LV and for that matter, different than the one shown on the on-line menu which was a good thing since there were 2 items there which really were appealing to me.
We both started with Margaritas. She, a regular one, but with some top shelf tequila, me, the prickly pear cactus which was quite delicious and got me very high very quickly. Bread was served - excellent corn muffins and some other kind of white bread but calling it white bread isn't doing it justice. Light and fluffy triangles of puffy dough, very addictive.
For appetizers, I had the fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta, corn and basil sitting in a mango salsa. A nice light dish for a muggy evening. I'd never had these before, which is the reason I opted for them. My friend had the spicy tuna tartare which was the winner of the two. We both agreed that we would have been happy making an entree of this dish. Tuna was impeccably fresh, with just enough heat and cilantro in it not to overwhelm the fish. Really good and you almost couldn't even tell it was tuna (a good thing if you're not a fish lover, although we both are).
For entrees, my friend took my suggestion and ordered the spice rubbed pork tenderloin with the sweet potato tamale. I had raved about this from our LV dinner and it didn't disappoint her at all. And let me say that there had to be a pound of loin on the plate - you could have easily had leftovers for 2 nights on the amount of meat they gave you (she took the leftovers home for her boyfriend and/or dogs - whomever claimed it first LOL). She was totally bowled over by the tamale and had to stop herself from licking the corn husk clean.
I ordered soft shell crabs with an avocado relish. It only came with sauteed spinach which was very buttery and had some roasted red peppers in it, very good but not enough so I ordered a side dish of a goat cheese and thyme tamale which was excellent. The crabs were really meaty, not overly spicy, just enough to please. Very enjoyable especially since I don't see soft shells on menus too often.
Of course, we had to have desert. Me particularly since I didn't get to try it in LV, as we had to run off to see a show. I had the roasted wild strawberry shortcake with pinot noir sorbet and she had the mint chocolate parfait. Both were wonderful and decadent. She cleaned her parfait completely, but sadly, I was too full to finish mine.
Yes, this was a pricey meal, which is probably part of people's issue with the restaurant but frankly, we didn't care. We were happy as clams. The bill came out to $213 with tip and tax (2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 1 extra side dish, 2 deserts, 2 margaritas, 1 glass wine). We enjoyed ourselves, were served well. What more can you ask for?