When I went to P.S. Noodle Pot last week, I noticed a restaurant named Los Rosales in the same shopping center. And oddly enough, when I got back from lunch, Bites had posted that Los Rosales offered a menu that's different from the standard order-by-number Tex Mex joints around town.
So last Friday night, the Significant Omnivore and I decided to check it out. And I'm really happy we did. The most striking things about the menu are not only do they take the care to note that the rice is vegetarian, but there are five vegetarian options on the menu. And it's not just peppers and onions.
While we were looking over the menu, our server Adriana brought us a three-section dish with salsa, refried beans, and pico de gallo with some chips. The salsa was different from what I'm used to--it had a consistency that was near apple sauce. It didn't look either appealing or unappealing--just different. But it was very good. It had a sweetness about it that I really liked.
Since there were so many options on the menu for me to choose from, we decided to go ahead and get an appetizer. There was a spinach dip, but we decided on cheese dip. Adriana suggested the queso fundido, but I told her I was a vegetarian and didn't want the sausage. She suggested getting it without the sausage because it was much better than just the standard cheese dip. And it was served with thick, warm corn tortillas as well. It was definitely a good suggestion. As you can see, we got a small cast iron pan full of fresh cheese. And easily the best corn tortillas I've ever tasted (though we still needed a few chips in order to finish off the cheese).
After some serious consideration, I decided on the Aguacate Relleno con Pistachios--stuffed avocado with a seasoned mix of pistachios, zucchini, mint leaves, lime juice, sour cream and pepper. I was intrigued, to say the least.
And I was not disappointed. The stuffed avocadoes were delicious. The tastes of the pistachioes and avocado mixed together well with just a hint of mint. The sour cream gave it just a bit of tang and added to the creaminess. And the avocado used for the base was at a perfect ripeness--no brown spots and with a vibrant taste. On the side were some steamed vegetables (well done--not overcooked at all) and the vegetarian rice that has diced carrots, celery and corn mixed it (I believe they're roasted before being mixed in, but I could be wrong). The flavors all worked really well together to create a wonderful meal (my Corona Light helped that out just a little). Side note: the SO's chicken enchiladas came topped with an avocado sauce that was similar to my avocado stuffing, but minus the pistachioes and mint (but just as tasty). I think he had a hard time settling on the enchiladas, having been tempted by ceviche and fish tacos.
Even though we were both stuffed and couldn't finish our meals, we opted for dessert. Adriana listed off a few cheesecakes (made off-site by a local bakery whose name I didn't catch), but she recommended the mango cheesecake. So we went for it.
And, again, delicious. The fresh slices of mango and the strawberry sauce were nice touches for an already wonderful cheesecake. The cake itself was fluffy and cakey just the way I like it (New York style) and the mango flavored layer was delicate and sweet. It was a great way to end the meal.
So I have a new favorite Mexican restaurant. Actually, just "a" favorite Mexican restaurant since I rarely patronize the order-by-number, lard and chicken stock-filled Tex Mex joints created specifically for us gringoes that seem to exist on every corner not already populated by a Taco Bell. This is the kind of Mexican food that most of us rarely ever get to experience.
Another thing that's different about Los Rosales is the atmosphere. The upscale feel of the menu is matched with real tablecloths and linen napkins and a "rustic" Mexican decor (mostly Mayan in influence) that includes candles on each table. There wasn't any mariachi music blaring from the speakers or the feel that you needed to get in and out in a hurry. It was a very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere that made it easy to enjoy the thoughtfully prepared and presented (and delicious) food.
1307 Bell Road