Dining Panda: Gobbling Up Mexican Street Fare At Cocina Condesa
By Cooking Panda
Studio City, California and Mexico City are more than 1,800 miles apart, but Cocina Condesa shrinks that gap with a mouth-watering selection of Mexican street food so authentic that the only thing missing is the Mexican streets. Executive chef Eddie Garcia has crafted a menu informed and influenced by his Aztec roots that makes this Ventura Boulevard hotspot a must-visit for diners looking to branch out from everyday Americanized Mexican fare.
Take the Ahi Tuna Tostaditos – a domed pile of fresh, citrus-accented tuna, cubed avocado, cucumber and sliced mango, served with small tortillas made from Mexican jicama yam beans. It’s culinary flourishes like this one that set Cocina Condesa apart from tens of thousands of taquerias jostling for your dinnertime attention. Same goes for the creamy and fiery Street Corn – served on or off the cobb depending on your mood – and the Ceviche de Pescado, which brings together mahi mahi, jalapenos and cotija cheese corn nuts with a side of fried plantains for scooping.
Ceviche de Pescado
Standout entrees include the Crepas de Langosta, which wrap a generous helping of fresh lobster in warm tortillas topped with tangy verde and pickled onions. The Chile Rellano was also a standout. There’s no great twist to Cocina Condesa’s take on this venerable Mexican classic: It’s a green chile stuffed with cheese and covered in verde. Simple, unassuming and one of the most satisfying items on the menu.
Besides their food, Cocina Condesa does a brisk business as a bar and mezcaleria, serving up all manner of tequila-based cocktails and expertly-crafted margaritas in salt, seasoning and cinnamon-rimmed glasses. The Paloma is a wonderfully refreshing citrus cocktail, bringing together Squirt, fresh grapefruit juice and fresh lime juice, while the Margarita Condesa provides a fine jumping-off point for an exploration of the diverse selection of margaritas on offer.
The best reason not to gorge yourself on Cocina Condesa’s main courses is the dessert menu, which provides a variety of outstanding sweets that remain every bit as fresh and creative as the rest of the menu. The Baby Churros are served hot from the fryer, dusted with sugar, gooey on the inside and accompanied by a smooth dulce de leche dipping sauce. The Caramel Cheesecake served with horchata ice cream is just the right amount of sweet and especially perfect on a hot day.
Caramel Cheesecake with Horchata Ice Cream
And the Chocolate Cayenne Brownie serves up a warm and spicy brownie alongside the Mexican standby of walnut crusted deep fried ice cream (and don’t worry, it’s not overly spicy at all).
Chocolate Cayenne Brownie
If you’re looking for street food eats with sit-down ambiance – and maybe a strong beverage or two – your search is over. Cocina Condesa is the reigning king of the streets.
11616 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604