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Restaurants & Bars 1


lil mikey | Oct 31, 200201:11 PM

I made plans to meet a buddy at Mexicali the other night for dinner. He was flying in from San Jose, so we agreed to meet there. It’s on Ventura Boulevard, about ½ block west of Laurel Canyon. There is a big parking lot in the back.

I arrived at about 7:30 and as he was not yet there, I ordered a margatini from the bar. At the suggestion of another buddy, I had a margatini last time I went to Mexicali. Since then, I have been unable to find one anywhere. At other bars, I invariably get a margarita in a martini glass. A margatini, on the other hand, is really a blend of margarita and martini. It has gin, vermouth, tequila, triple sec and cointreau. It is not as sweet as a margarita, and has more pizzazz than a martini.

My buddy arrived and we were seated. The menu goes on and on. It’s like the Mexican version of Jerry’s Famous Deli. We ordered a small guacamole appetizer to go with the delicious chips and salsa already on the table. It arrived in a small bowl and was horrible. There was so much salt that you could scarcely taste the avocado at all. I’m very glad we ordered the small. We didn’t finish it, despite it being only several tablespoons of dip.

Dinner, on the other hand, was great. We had the enchiladas suprema, which had chicken, goat cheese, mushrooms, and some other ingredients. They were served with Mexican rice and our choice of black or pinto beans. We both chose the black beans. It was served on a long plate (like 18” long by 6” tall), and the presentation on the plate was very nice. The flavor of the enchiladas was really good. The chicken had been shredded, which I like. I don’t like the big chunks of chicken in there. Shredding the meat makes the consistency much better. And the goat cheese gave it a nice creamy warmth that blended with the other flavors immaculately.

I highly recommend the margatini and the enchiladas suprema. There can be a wait for a table. Next time I’ll call ahead. Or maybe not, since the bar makes such good margatinis.

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