Quick Eats: La Serenata

Restaurant: La Serenata

Location: 1416 Fourth Street Santa Monica, CA 90401. 310-656-7017

Date: Jan 8, 2011

Cuisine: Mexican


When I first started going 15-16 years ago, La Serenata was fairly eye opening — coming as I did from the world of tex-mex=Mexican. LA has so many different kinds of south of the border food. This place has always felt at least a little less Americanized and farther from street food. Plus, it’s right behind the promenade and perfect for a quick “before the movies” bite. The menu can be found here.

Cadillac Margarita, blended, no salt. Pretty good, although not in the same league as the ones I make myself at home. I take my home Margarita’s VERY serious, as seriously as I do my Ultimate Pizza. Any of the legions who have attended my 4th of July parties where I go through 7-10 gallons will attest! When it comes back in season I will blog in detail about my blend.

La Serenata always serves a soup with the meal. They vary by the day, but usually consist of some form of vegetable combined with cream and blended. This is mushroom. I’m partial myself to this kind of soup because cream is well… good.

The chipotle sauce. Can we say blood-red?

A round of the simple cheese only quesadillas. Popular with the two year-old set. And adults.

La Serenata offers several fishes every night, each of which can be paired with an assortment of half a dozen sauces. This is salmon in “La Salsa Serenata,” a cream and mushroom sauce.

Vegetables, beans, and homemade corn tortillas.

“Carne Deshebrada en chile Colorado,” shredded beef in a red chile sauce with onions and potatoes. You’d be hard pressed to find a more American dish — and I don’t mean the USA, I mean the continent. This is tasty stuff tucked into the tortillas.

The place has a festive “fake Mexican village” decor, but the food is very tasty, and doesn’t have that blah feel that too many generic Mexican places have. All very tasty. Plus, once you pound down three Cadilac Margaritas, you’d be hard pressed to tell.

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