La Sirena Grill

On Sunday, Husband and I were running around doing errands for the new house.  Since neither of us had breakfast (bad habit), we decided to try out La Sirena Grill in El Segundo since we were in the area.

Dining area

Bar Area

Salsa

Pomegranate Margarita

When we walked in, the place was about half full.  We were quickly seated and presented with a basket of just-made tortilla chips and some spicy green salsa which I enjoyed.  The heat was enough to make my lips a little tingly by the time our meal was over.

Husband, about to face a few hours of shopping, went straight for some booze and ordered a pomegranate margarita.  Since one of us had to stay sober to drive and make wise purchases, I just stuck with my usual water.

La Sirena’s menu isn’t very extensive and lists items that sound more fusion than your classic Mexican fare.  They claim to use fresh and quality ingredients like grass-fed beef; the prices reflect the use of better quality ingredients.  There were also advertisements on the table touting happy hour specials throughout the week as well as tequila tastings.  A menu listed quite a few varieties…

On the appetizer menu, I spotted a porcini and truffle quesadilla served with a salad of baby arugula ($9).  Sold!  Asking about the size, I decided that it wouldn’t be enough for a meal so I also got the cerviche ($10).  Husband went for carne asada enchiladas with red sauce ($14-ish, carne asada was extra I think…).

Porcini and truffle quesadilla

Cerviche

The quesadilla was fantastic.  The porcini mushrooms were earthy and the chewy texture went well with the crisp tortilla.  I really enjoyed the flavor of this and would totally order this plate again.  Yes, it’s not very “Mexican” but tasty is tasty…

The cerviche was a little disappointing.  While it had a generous portion of scallops, shrimp and avocado,  I was hoping for a more tangy flavor, more acidity.  I got that when I reached the bottom of the plate but the top was just…meh.  Perhaps mixing it up to get the juices from the bottom to coat the top may help next time.  A little hard to do on such a small plate but worth a try.  I could always ask for a bowl, I suppose.

The service was great.  I never once had to ask for a refill on water; the waiter was very ninja about keeping it filled.

Overall, a positive first dining experince at La Sirena Grill.  I’m sure Husband and I will be back as the Happy Hour specials piqued our interest.

3 1/2 NOMs for La Sirena Grill!

La Sirena Grill
710-D Allied Way
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 640-6170
La Sirena Grill on Urbanspoon

OC 2, LA 0 – The hunt for Messican goes on

Since I started working in Huntington Beach, I’ve discovered that there’re several hole-in-the wall Mexican places nearby.  Some of the peeps at work do a taco run on Thursdays to Taqueria Mexico.  It looked really yummy so I had to give it a try.

Well, so far this place is the closest I’ve gotten to matching what I can get in San Diego at Roberto’s/Sombrero’s/Cotixan.  While the menu isn’t as extensive as what I’m used to, the fact that I can get something resembling a decent carne asada burrito makes up for that.  They offer up tacos and burritos and you get to choose the type of filling.  Tacos offer up the usual chicken, carne asada and some more adventurous choices like beef tongue and head meat.  As for burritos, you can get meat & cheese, rice, beans & cheese, beans & cheese…well, you get the idea.  And just so you know, the beans here are pinto beans, NOT refried.  The husband was a bit miffed by this.  The thing to get here, though, is the tacos.  Carne asada, onion n’ cilantro, cheese and hot sauce form inside a little tortilla to become awesomeness in your mouth.

Taqueria Mexico is open 24hrs which is great for that late night drunken munchies.  Cuz y’know, nothing goes better with drunk than some awesome Mexican food…well, that or Denny’s.

Based on a friend’s recommendation, I also tried George’s Mexican Food.  Now this was more of what I was thinking.  The menu was extensive, offering combination platters, tortas, taquitos, etc.  Once again, I discovered that the carne asada burrito included beans (what is it with the beans?!?!?!).  I had them take it out and put in guacamole.  I also ordered a bean and cheese burrito for the husband and an order of rolled tacos with just meat and cheese.

The burritos were smaller than what we usually get down in SD joints.  The carne asada burrito was decent, about on par as the one I had at Taqueria Mexico though bonus pts for George’s for having the option of guacamole.  The only issue was the tortilla which was starting to rip in places.  The husband thought his bean n’ cheese burrito was just okay.  They got the rolled taco order wrong and gave me a taco instead.  Let me just say, this taco was a heck of a lot better than the crap we got at Tito’s Tacos.

Over all, I think if I was craving street tacos, I’d go to Taqueria Mexico.  For anything else, I’d hit up George’s…which also had breakfast burritos (OMG bacon n’ egg?).  However, they only serve them in the mornings unlike Roberto’s which offers them up 24/7.  Not quite up to San Diego standards but decent enough to satiate the cravings.

Oh yeah, George’s has a drive-thru which is convenient!

Taqueria Mexico gets 3 NOMs.

George’s Mexican Food gets 3 1/2 NOMs.

Taqueria Mexico
14022 Springdale St
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 894-5850
Taqueria Mexico on Urbanspoon

George’s Mexican Food
6581 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 892-5775

George's Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

So where’s the good Mexican food in LA?

The Mexican places in LA that I’ve been to so far have nothing on what you can find in San Diego. I miss my *bertos…

I went in, ordered a bean n’ cheese burrito for the husband and a Burrito Especial (meat, cheese, guac, pico de gallo) for myself….none of this rice n’ beans filler crap. I had the option of steak or chicken and went with steak. They got it wrong and put chicken in.

I was curious as to why my order was in a styrofoam container vs. being wrapped in paper like most other burritos. The reason – this was a wet mess. It literally fell apart when I picked it up and I ended up using a fork n’ knife. Um, drain the pico de gallo next time before throwing it in, m’kay? They didn’t skimp on the filling, obviously, since the tortilla barely wrapped around it but I don’t think there was a lot of chicken. At least not that I could taste due to the overpowering pico n’ guac.

It wasn’t bad but damn, I do miss my carne asada burritos from Roberto’s. And don’t even get me started on breakfast burritos. I don’t know what Chile Verde is thinking putting beans in theirs but from where I come from, it’s bacon, egg, cheese and shredded hash browns. And a whole lot of hot sauce….

Also, where’s the fish burrito on the menu? Do I really have to go to Rubio’s for that?

Would I go back? Probably…though I might stick with rolled tacos next time or get a bean n’ cheese burrito since that looked okay and the husband didn’t complain. Besides, it’s not like I have many options, atm…

P.S. I pronounced “Especial” the Spanish way and the Hispanic guy behind the counter looked at me funny and asked “What”? Is my accent really that bad?? So I had to repeat it, this time pronouncing it “Eh-speh-shawl”.

Chile Verde earns 2 1/2 NOMs.

Chile Verde
630 N Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 640-7666
Chile Verde Mexican Food on Urbanspoon