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Sunday, January 11, 2009

La Mesa- back again with tasty Mexican entrees

Las Mesa on Urbanspoon
We've been to many Tex/Mex/ Mexican restaurants. Most of them have had good Mexican fare. So how do you choose one? Sometimes we just want to try a different one to see what it is like , does it take any of the dishes to a different level other then your regular restaurant. We had sampled the Mexican fare at a La Mesa (at least that is what the name was) in Overland Park a couple of years ago. There was also one off of I-35 in Olathe, KS and gauging their progress the place were doing well. The one in Olathe always had cars in the parking lot if that is an indicator. But then they closed for some reason. I am always mystified when by restaurants that seem to be doing well but then close. Recently the Olathe location opened up (now 1 of 3 in Kansas) so we decided to try a coupon (hey I'm all for saving a little money). And we found that (at least) this one is better then before.
A waiters were attentive and helpful. I thought we'd try the Margaritas which are on sale on Wednesdays. Both my wife and I enjoyed the limey salt rimmed Margaritas with lots of Tequila kick. She had the icy/frozen one and I had the regular one (little more potent not as diluted) and they were both green colored and excellent.
The prices are very reasonable and there are lunch specials. The menu is pretty extensive and has appetizers, salads, sides, Mexican entrees (fajitas, grilled, burritos, quesadilla, enchiladas and more) , combinations, fajita fiesta (for 1 or 2) , steaks, chimichangas (my favorite), variety of chicken dishes, vegetarian dishes and much more. So there is much to choose from and I always have a hard time making up my mind on huge and versatile menus like this ( or was it the Margarita).
We ordered and dug into the excellent crispy chips. There were two types of salsa (spicy and regular). We really liked the tangy tomatoey flavor of the salsa. The spicy had a little extra heat (not hanero heat but possibly serrano not jalapeno?).
I really like Chimichangas (deep fried flour tortilla with beef / chicken or etc ) but I wanted to forage with something different tonight to sample the differences in the menu. My wife enjoyed her Pollo Asada (marinated chicken served with creamy avocado, lettuce, tomato, bell peppers, onions and 3 tortillas which were supple and easily filled the tomatoes, avocado, meat for little mini mexican sandwiches. Many dishes looked great but I wanted to try the different flavors, textures, meats etc of this restaurant. What better way then the the Special Dinner which was sort of sampler. Nice soft chicken tamale, one chili rellano (nicely flavored fried mild green poblano low heat pepper stuffed with cheese), tasty one chicken enchilada (nicely done with red sauce), one shredded beef taco, and one small tostado. All these sampler dishes had a nice (cumin?) flavor. Each was distinct in flavor, meats were tender.
The mashed refried beans were exceptional. This side dish had an unusal extra creamy flavor and the "bean" taste was not heavy handed. It was different then your regular refried bean mash. Maybe a little extra garlic in it, it was hard to "put my finger " on this extra nice taste
Another reason to like this restaurant is that the portions were quite large so there was more to take home and finish later. And the dishes had good flavor when we reheated them. I hope this place sticks around. We'll be back.

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