Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pink Taco Hits the Spot

It's been much too long since my last post!  Been a busy summer for this blogger - will be spamming the site with all the reviews that have been backed up since June in the next few weeks!

Let's start with a fun one - Pink Taco.  Yes, the name on its own immediately makes you think of either a sleazy strip joint or porn palace - but is really a fairly unique concept bar/restaurant chain with a location in the very tame neighborhood of Century City.  In fact, the bar/restaurant sits on the top floor of Century City mall - so really, how crazy can it get?

We had a great girls' night out there on a Saturday in June.  Two of my girlfriends and I were looking for a fun, but not too crazy, night out.  We just wanted to have drinks in a fun environment, but not be at a place where you could see/feel sharks circling.  Pink Taco turned out to be the perfect spot to meet this objective - though most people wouldn't expect such a place to be part of a suburban mall.  From the minute we stepped through the gigantic medieval-castle-style wooden double doors, we felt like we were transported to another city - one perhaps inspired in equal parts by New Orleans, Mexico City and Las Vegas (the chain did in fact start within the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Vegas...).  
Shamelessly playing up the irreverent tongue-in-cheek (sorry, had to do it!) humor inherent in its name, Pink Taco's lobby houses a long wooden counter that serves as gift shop, so that the first thing you see when you step inside is a display of - what else? - thongs and panty sets emblazoned with the words "Pink Taco".

Next up is a bar area with saints-and-sinners themed decor including a Virgin Mary figure watching over all the alcohol-imbibing guests at the counter, and a giant red floor-to-ceiling Satan statue in a recessed wall off to the side.  The whole area is lit with a combination of christmas lights and fantastic wrought iron star-shaped lamps hanging overhead - plus a backlit wall of bottles in the center behind the bar. 

Moving further up and back into a platformed dining area, we were seated at a table in a section surrounded by patio-style wooden wall panels, decorated by an eclectic mix of rock n' roll and biker memorabilia.  There were large flat screen TVs hanging around the room, showing the latest sports games, perhaps to lend some comfort to guys who may have dared venture into this 'bar for women'. 

Charmed with the decor, we next turned our attention to taking care of our hunger pangs.  Pink Taco had quite a large menu  - of mainly mexican fare, with some items that featured some fun twist.  After quite a lengthy moment of indecision, we started off with the Pink Taco Platter ($24.95) - which consisted of two chicken skewers, two carne asada skewers, cheese quesadillas, guacomole, two corn tamales, hand battered rock shrimp and slow-roasted ribs.

For the main fare, there is a large selection of tacos and enchiladas.  I ordered the Seafood Enchiladas ($15.95) - menu offers your choice of shrimp or lobster (I got lobster, of course!) wrapped in corn tortillas, topped with brandy chipotle cream sauce, and served with side of rice and beans.  I don't like corn tortillas so I asked to substitute them for flour tortillas - the waitress warned me that flour tortillas may be too dry for the dish, but helped me to get the kitchen to make the switch anyway.  I think it turned out great, I didn't find it too dry at all.  The brandy chipotle cream sauce, like the restaurant, had spunky spirit - perhaps it was the chipotle that lent a little kick to its taste.  Though just slightly too salty and pungent, I thought the flavor was interesting and something that I have not experienced at any other mexican restaurant - so it got a thumbs up from me.

My only complaint for the night is that the Raspberry Mojito I ordered tasted like diluted cough syrup on ice, with a bitter aftertaste. 

Other than that, great "managed wild" night out with the girls in the 'burbs.

On a 7 point scale:

Flavor - 3.5 bites
Presentation - 3 bites
Originality - 2 bites
Ambience - 4.5 stars
Service - 4 stars
Overall experience - 4 bites
Price - $ (1 bite mark)
Probability of return visit - 90%

Pink Taco
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Ph: 310.789.1000

Pink Taco on Urbanspoon

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