Today is: Sunday, January 19, 2020
Loteria Grill Restaurant Review
Seeped in the history and grand gastronomic traditions of Mexico, Loteria Grill treats dining as a serious art. Ancient Mayan and Aztec techniques influence the preparation of dishes, while native Mexican ingredients such as Cuitlacoche pepper the menu. Bold flavors prevail, and seafood, steak, and chicken dishes are served with
dramatic presentation and an almost mystical allure. A separate tequila
menu offers over a huge selection of the mythical elixir.
Loteria Grill restaurant and tequileria is a gem in the sea of Mexican restaurants in Hollywood. Located on the outskirts of Hollywood, just a little over a block away from the onslaught of Bella and Geisha House restaurants on Hollywood Blvd. Loteria Grill has paid homage to the intense flavors and richly satisfying dishes of Mexico for over 6 months. The dining experience is uniquely upscale, with a broad selection of entrees that mix haute standards such as tacos, and burritos and sea bass with
deeply flavorful Mexican staples such as epazote, chipotle, and ancho chiles. If
the menu alone isn’t a draw (and it should be), the restaurant doubles as a
tequila museum, with a huge variety of tequila bottles lining the walls, all of
them are available to accompany the central-Mexico-inspired cuisine.
The nondescript, stucco exterior belies a rich interior, which boasts an intimate
space filled with subtle details that quite convincingly evoke another country.
The dining room is very cozy, with closely-spaced tables creating an
ambiance that seems both comfortable and warm.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the restaurant was, well, tequila. The
bottles are gorgeous, some over 100 years old, others made of
ceramic or clay, molded into commemorative shapes.
The tequila collection overflowed here, with more glass cases and antique
banquettes. We were seated at a table in the corner, and were greeted
by our server, who brought menus, the wine list, and an
astoundingly enormous list of tequilas.
Jalapeño Margarita (Right)
Chicharrones de Queso
While the restaurant has a modest yet well-selected wine list, the focus is clearly on the tequila. With not a huge variety of wines offered by the glass a white and a red we decided tequila was the way to go, and ordered the famous Jalapeño Margarita ($12), a mix of tequila, triple sec, orange juice, jalapeño juice, floated with Grand Marnier, with a chili powder and salt dipped rim. Very strong, and spicy but very good!
This is a truly refreshing and wonderfully unique drink. The drinks would prove
to be our first glimpse into the restaurant’s commitment to purity the drinks
were crafted from scratch with lime juice, orange juice, Grand Marnier,
and 100% agave tequila. We sampled the house margarita ($9)
which was very good! I also tried the mango margarita ($11),
which was again, delicious!
Don Julio Añejo Real
We also tried the famous Don Julio Real Añejo Real. In my opinion; Don Julio is
the No. 1 choice among tequila connoisseurs in Mexico. Don Julio Gonzales
is one of Mexico's most renowned premium tequila makers. His tequila,
made in the same way since 1942, is his masterwork.
Don Julio Tequila Reposado is said to be silky smooth with a compelling combination of light cinnamon, honey and herbaceous flavors balanced by a lightly smoky taste and dark chocolate notes. Aged for just under a year, Don Julio Reposado is available
in the United States along with Don Julio Blanco and Don Julio Añejo.
Taco Platter Sampler
As we marveled at the excellence of our pre-dinner drinks, our server brought out
our first course; the Probaditas plate ($14), a great sampling of all 12 of their tacos. Served on hand pressed, homemade, mini corn tortillas, it’s a great way to sample
all of their veggie, chicken, beef and pork tacos. My favorites of the bunch are
the Conchita Pobil (pork slowly roasted in a banana leaf with citrus pickled
red onions and chili habanero) and the Pollo en Pipian Rojo
(chicken in a spicy pumpkin-seed and peanut sauce).
I was excited to have my first taste. The dish was elusive, filled with rich, complex flavors of smoke, wood, and earth that all seemed new to my palate. The Chef
sent us to try his signature: Chicharrones de Queso, which was deliciously
elusive, accompanied with guacamole and salsa. Then we tried a selection
of Enchiladas, one chicken, one pork and one with potatoe. They were
great and reveling in the pure flavors. It was as if this dish was reminding
us that food has been essential to humanity far before our modern
times, fast food, and all-too-often rushed meals.
Sea Bass Special
As if right on cue, our next course offered a modern interpretation of an ancient ingredient, proving that the rich flavors of heirloom ingredients that were still very
much relevant today. The Sea bass special with a spicy sauce, mixed with cilantro, onion, and hot green peppers. Again, the flavors were new and surprising! My
guest ordered Carnitas that were superb and came along with rice and
beans! Just fantastic, and we truly enjoyed our meal at Loteria Grill.
Together, our first two courses could have formed a filling, satisfying, and
nutritious meal. The tastes were clean, pure, and refreshing, while at the
same time offering a lingering, but not overpowering, spice.
As seemed to be the theme of the evening, I was surprised by the quality, the inherent flavor, and the overwhelming purity, which awakened not only my taste buds, but my head, as I realized I had been deceived all these years by Americanized versions of
the rich, vibrant traditions of Mexico. As far as dessert, we finish with their authentic Mexican Flan, which was truly amazing and rich caramel flan resonated across my tongue. I was hooked on the country’s rich culinary traditions, vibrant ingredients,
and respectful preparations. Never again could anything less flavorful and
satisfying pass for true Mexican cuisine at Loteria Grill. Simply amazing!
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at www.loteriagrill.com
Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx
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