A2 Rating Scale (out of 5):
WHAT: Cascabel (Coastal Comfort Mexican Food)
WHERE: Toluca Lake, CA
WHO: Chef Alex Eusebio (season 5 Top Chef contestant – also owns one of my fav restaurants Sweetsalt — try their Pesto Chicken Sammy now, thank me later)
WHAT TO ORDER: Smoked Bacon Guacamole ($8) — I mean come on, the merging of two of the best foods ever? How do you eat this with anything other than a smile on your face? Also, the Fried Chicken Tacos ($8/2 tacos) — the mix of chili honey, serrano pepper, and slaw make this sweetly crispy and spicy at the same time.
WHAT TO SKIP: The black beans ($3). Since the tacos come a- la-carte, we ordered a few sides to share. The brussel sprouts ($7) and Mexican rice ($5) were delish but the beans were watery and over salted.
WHERE TO PARK: There’s valet in the back (right past the restaurant sign on Riverside) which you should opt for as the entrance to the restaurant is through the back (can we get some signs please? I was walking in circles trying to find a door since I nailed a metered street spot).
WHERE TO SIT: The restaurant has a few indoor rooms and a little patio. I would opt for the main room with the awesome turquoise tables and an entire wall with a snake painted on it. The outside patio with twinkle lights is pretty cute too.
WHO YOU’LL SEE: Mainly families. It is in Toluca Lake after all.
WHO TO BRING: Friends, family, date night. With a few longer tables inside and tables to put together outside, they could accommodate a bigger group. There’s a pretty mellow vibe so I’ll let you be the judge of what kind of night you’re going for.
EDDR LIFE LESSON:
Sometimes you have to go a little out of your comfort zone to discover surprisingly good new things.
A2 FINAL THOUGHT:
While the food was unique, good, and well priced (I mean have you ever heard of bacon guac before? Because I definitely haven’t and was happy to have this revelation), let’s be real…unless I’m already in the area or live there, I’m not trying to go all the way to Toluca Lake for dinner. But, since I do happen to work on that side of town, I’m happy to have this newly discovered little slice of Mexico nearby.