Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome Rosa Mexicano

Rosa Mexicano
800 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 746-0001

Last night in partnership with Los Angeles Magazine, Rosa Mexicano opened its doors to media and frinds alike to share its perspective on Los Angeleno Mexican food and entertainment in the L.A. Live complex, right next door to Flemings and around the corner from the Staples center.

While Rosa Mexicano did not seem to make their list of L.A.'s best new bars (maybe Rosa is too new?), everyone still had a great time sucking down creative libations, tequila shots and Mexican beers, and Los Angeles Magazine was definitely a firm presence in the house

Rosa's bar is gorgeous, definitely fiesta themed with leopard print stained glass, rattan light fixtures and every tipo de tequila a drinker could want for sipping or mixing.

Three main cocktails being pushed last night were the hornipolitan (my personal poison, I might have had three), pomegranite margaritas (delicious), and a classic margarita.

Servers walked the vast rooms carrying trays laden with mixed drinks, beers and hors d'ouevres.

Hornitos Cosmopolitan.  I have been drinking a tequila cosmopolitan for years, and this was a delicious rendition. My head hurts a little this morning.

Beers on a tray, please note strategically placed lime wedge and welcoming smile.

The food was very good. In the bar, right by the front entrance, a cook worked at an al carbon carving station, slicing off succulent meats for toothsome little tacos.

Adjoining the bar was a large dining room, with tables cleared away to make room for many stations of classic Mexican offerings. This was the guacamole/salsa table. I am told there were three kinds of guac...three.  All very chunky and handmade in the following bullet proof glass antechamber.

Below is the quesadilla station.

Right there on the grill the cooks were prepping three kinds of mini-quesadillas, made fresh and immediately transferred to a table outside the cooking station.

Delicious mini-quesadillas in corn tortillas. In the rear, you can barely see a flore de calabasas, probably my favorite. In the foreground you see a black bean and corn quesadilla drizzled with crema fresca.  Chorizo quesadillas were also being constructed, but I didn't try one of those.

Upon arrival at 7 PM, the bar was busy but not insanely crowded.  Eventually this booth became packed with food bloggers. Two Hungry Pandas (W & E) , Food GPS (J), e*star LA (e), Caroline on Crack (C), Shop, Eat, Sleep (M) and my own sexy date LA-OC Foodventures. Thanks, H.C., for making me your +1, I had a great time!

At this station close to the front door of the dining room (or maybe it was the back door), a popular gentleman was serving enchiladas from duck or chicken with mole or a habanero sauce.

Initially, the duck was offered with the yellow pepper habanero sauce...

and the chicken with the mole.

However, people were getting creative with their saucing and I am nothing if not a lemming.  I ordered duck (delicious) with both sauces. Mole was the standout, because I never met a mole I didn't like, but the habanero was also wonderful and light. Not too spicy. Right now my spice tolerance is high after a weekend of trying to cure a migraine with spicy food, thanks to the advice of my twittering friend Pam at Rants and Craves. Pam, it works. But my taste buds are primed for the spiciest food on the planet after eating a boatload of wasabi with my sushi for Sunday lunch, followed by an extremely spicy pho from Pho 87 for dinner.

A large seafood station was set up in ice sculpture bowls in the main dining room. The area was too dark for pictures without flash, but raw oysters, mussels and ceviche do not lend themselves appetizingly to flash photography. I will tell you I thought the ceviche was wonderful, not too citrusy.  There were no signs posted identifying the fish types, I thought from left to right these were scallop ceviche and salmon ceviche, but Wesley and H.C. disagreed. Whatever they were, they were light, fresh and delicious.

As we commandeered the booth hors d'ouevres passed by our table, many of them. I sampled a mini-crabcake with a touch of guac and salsa verde on top. Tiny, the circumference of this was about the same size as a nickel but it was wonderfully crabby.

I also enjoyed a beautiful beef brochette with cherry tomato and green & yellow onion.  Hearty with wonderdully strong grilled flavors.

Mini-tortas passed our way, served on masa with cabbage, queso fresco and a little chipotle salsa. Omnomnom.

The evening was packed with guests enjoying the offerings of Rosa Mexicana.  Open already a couple of weeks, I understand the menu is not inexpensive. However, they are not marketing to my homeys at El Compadre. I think Rosa's target is young urban professional working in the downtown area or heading to Staples for a sporting event. Personally always looking for alternatives to watching bball at home during Laker season, the many large flat screened tvs in the very comfy looking bar are going to be a real draw come late October.

PS: There were some rumblings about someone locking their bike to the churro cart? OMG. WHO would do such a thing? WHO would be so inconsiderate to stand in between a drinking crowd and their churros? Caroline on Crack took the below photo of the inconsiderate bicycle placement and twittered it for all to see.

Me. It was me. I locked my bike to the churro cart inhibiting the dipping of delicious churros in raspberry & cajeta caramel.


weezermonkey said...

I am chuckling at your bike and churro cart fiasco.

Hmm. So is it truly tasty? I am clearly the desired clientele -- young urban downtown professional and resident.

But I've stayed away because I had it in NYC, and it was awful.

Esther said...

LOL I had no idea about that bike (or luckily, it wasn't there while I had made my ... 3 ... trips). ;)

H. C. said...

Wow you're fast, even with all the fancy fixins -- I think my fave taste of the night were those skirt steak brochettes -- so simple and beefy -- and that crazy guacamole bar! Oh yeah, the churros too *ahem*

Glad you and D could make it out!

Food, she thought. said...


I have no clue if what will be offered on the menu will be similar or of the same quality as what I ate last night. Last night was a special event and they pulled out all the stops. We shall have to visit to find out.


They must have been good, I saw someone else we know and love going back for seconds!


Everything I tasted was really good too. Thank you so much for having me and I am looking forward to our post-TG hike.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you ;p

But still, more room for the delicious looking hor d'oeuvres and cocktails!

B said...

sounds wonderful! Thank you for the review!