Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Rare Rave Restaurant Review

H/T for the headline to Jay S who can do whole paragraphs using words with the same first letter.

The restaurant - Maderos Cocina Mexicana, 231 S. PCH, Redondo Beach  424-350-7031  Own parking

Maderos has the entire blindingly-white building which is fronted by a very spacious walled-in patio.  In fact outdoors blends right into indoors via big glass panels separating the.  Indoors the décor is muted, with minimal frou frou.  No bullfight posters, pinatas all of the items normally found in "a Mexican restaurant."  The patio top is criss-crossed with little triangular flags, a frequent feature of patios all over Mexico.  Very festive, but not in the least  obtrusive.  For all I know, the flapping flags shoo away bugs.

"Never mind all of this blather about décor.  If I wanted that I'd go read Architectural Digest.  What about the food? "   The one word reply is "Awesome."  From the welcome! chips and three (3!) salsas.  They are a salsa crudo, a pale green one that evokes jalapenos and tomatillos and a thick-ish red chili.  We ordered guacamole to go with our drinks (Pacifico $6.50 and a very creamy margarita ($5)  made with wine as the alcohol.  Wine and beer only license as yet.

The guacamole was subtly flavored and not all are.  I hate these:  "I know!  Let's mash up an avocado and mayo and call it guacamole!"  For a meal starter, the salsa trio and guacamole definitely take it uptown.

The mains are no less sophisticated.  Richie ordered the Camarones's a la Diablo which came with refried beans which he had asked for as he doesn't like black beans which are what they normally serve here and Spanish rice $18 for a generous portion of shrimp, properly seasoned - a taste of diablo, but no the hot breath of Hell.

When I saw bacon-wrapped shrimp with Cotillo cheese on their online menu, I vowed then and there to pay them a visit.  Five good-sized prawns with a subtle honeyed, faint tingle sauce.  The cheese oozes out during cooking and makes a lacy, chewy cheese cookie.  Delicious!  The black beans come topped with an ocean of chopped tomatoes and the rice both the go-to sides here and in most Mexican restaurants.  $21 and well worth it.

Good food can ruined by bad service, but I don't think that will ever happen here.  The owner, the male and female servers were attentive, but not overpoweringly so.  No one wanted to sit on our laps and cut our food for us.

The owner told us they'll be opening at 11 a.m. soon for lunch and I can easily visualize a lazy, late lunch out on that patio with good friends, several rounds of drinks and a shared buffet of various dishes.  If there were five of us, everyone could have a bacon-wrapped shrimp.  Proviso:  if I were feeling generous.

Incidentally, Richie cleaned his plate so he's going to have to forage for something for his dinner tonight.  Serves him right.

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