LA Casita Mexicana

  • 4.75 star rating
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4.8 rating over 7 reviews

323-773-1898

4030 Gage Ave ( )

Bell, CA 90201-1127

 
Tags: Mexican, Takeout, Good For Kids, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Asian, Delivery, Flan, Mole, and Guadalajaran
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  • 4 users want to eat at LA Casita Mexicana
  • 1 user loves LA Casita Mexicana
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Reviews for LA Casita Mexicana

  • 7 reviews
  • First reviewed by mh2mh
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Gayot
Rating:
13 / 20
Price:
$$$$$

Editorial Review by Gayot »

LA Casita Mexicana

5.0
  • 5.0 star rating
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5 Votes
 

great moles

A true standout Mexican restaurant in L.A. Plus I love moles, and theirs are so fresh, in all their nutty glory. And it’s even better when the rest of the food is really good.

I got the three moles with poached chicken, and tried a little of most of everyone else’s food. All really good. You must not skip dessert here. They are out of this world. We had the whold guavas, and the churros filled with dulce de leche. Unbelievable.

The coffee had cinnamon in it. All I know is, I gott go back, and soon.

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LA Casita Mexicana

5.0
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La Casita Opened My Eyes...

For those of you living in Los Angeles, Mexican food is as part of our culture as Disneyland and the Dodgers. Regardless of what part of town you’re in, you’re bound to see one, two or more Mexican restaurants in your neighborhood, from fast food joints like Taco Bell and chain restaurants like El Torito to small hole in the wall taquerias and casual family-run restaurants.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you probably know that while my emphasis tends to be on Asian dining, I love trying various cuisines, but the one cuisine that I tended to overlook in the past was Mexican food. I always felt like there wasn’t enough variety. The menus of the Mexican restaurants I’d walk into consisted primarily of tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, etc. Not that those dishes weren’t tasty, but once I sampled everything, there wasn’t anything to look forward to.

It wasn’t until my first meal at La Casita that my eyes were opened to new and different tasty possibilities that I never experienced before and all because of the soulful cooking of Chef-Owners, Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu. I’ve dined at La Casita for the past 3 years and with each meal, I’m just thankful that I’ve been able to expand my view of Mexican cuisine and experience more of its culinary traditions.

Given that I’ve been a steady visitor of La Casita, I thought I’d share with you some of the dishes that have wowed me over the years. One thing to mention is that while I have eaten dishes from their regular menu, there have been times when I’ve had off the menu items as well because of one of the Assistant Organizers of my dining group, Pleasure Palate. She truly is a frequent customer and as such, has a special rapport with the two chefs, which has resulted in some pretty special meals . I’ll be sure to note those off menu items in my descriptions below. If you’d like to order any of the off menu items, call ahead at the restaurant and they may be able to accommodate you.

As mentioned above, my first visit to La Casita really gave me a new perspective on Mexican cuisine and on that first day, the following are some of the dishes that made me say, “I didn’t know Mexican food could be like this.” One of our starters for that meal was the Cream of Pork Rind Soup (off menu). Who would have thought the crunchy goodness of pig skin could be made into a soup? Yes, it is possible and wow, was it good.

Then there was the Traditional Mole Poblano with Chicken. This was actually my first taste of mole and the flavors hitting my taste buds were amazing ~ nutty, smoky, a little bit sweet, a little heat. Simply amazing.

The two desserts we had that day were quite unique. One was the Dulce de Jicama (off menu), candied jicama with cinnamon in a creamy sauce. It reminded me of rice pudding, but the jicama added a nice juicy crunch.

The second dessert were Guayabas Con Compope, stewed guavas in a Mexican eggnog liquor. Tart and sweet. Christmas came early.

A subsequent visit was a Day of the Dead dinner where I was introduced to their Tamalito of Green Chile and Panela Cheese with Red Mole (off menu). It was moist with a bit of a kick from the tender chili peppers and the red mole sauce was outstanding.

This particular visit was also where I first tried one of La Casita’s signature dishes, the Chili En Nogada. The Chili En Nogada is a poblano pepper stuffed with pork, dried fruits, walnuts, candied cactus, pecan cream sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. I liked how the poblano pepper still had a slight crunch to it. The filling was delicious and the pomegranate seeds added just the right touch of tartness.

It wasn’t until several months after that Day of the Dead dinner that I was able to re-visit La Casita and what a welcome back it was. While I got to try some new things, there were definitely a couple of items I wanted to savor again like their Cauliflower Cakes (off menu), which were battered cauliflower smothered with a red chili sauce. Cauliflower, as a whole, can be pretty bland, but not the way it was prepared at La Casita.

I was also happy to get a repeat taste of their Divorced Chilaquiles, with one half of the tortillas topped with salsa verde and the other with a red chili sauce. I loved how light and crunchy the tortilla chips were and always are.

As mentioned, there were a few new dishes included in our meal. Two of them really stood out. One was the Chiles Rellenos with Fresh Corn and Squash in Chile Rojo (off menu), which was a fresh and bright change from chili relleno that is usually stuffed with cheese.

The Fish in a Blackberry Mole (off menu) was truly a revelation. By this time, I’ve experienced quite a variety of moles, from chocolate and pipian moles to green and yellow moles to even green and white moles at La Casita as well as other Mexican restaurants, but none had such a concentration of a particular fruit or ingredient as that blackberry mole dish. It was truly superb, both sweet and tart.

At other visits, we ordered strictly from the menu. Be sure to check out their two melted cheese dishes. If you love chorizo, a must order for you is their Cheese Fondue with Chorizo. Tear off a piece of tortilla, add a dollop of cheese and chorizo, wrap it, eat it and repeat it. Delicious!

If chorizo is not your thing, check out the Aztec Cheese which is filled with poblano chile slices, mushrooms and herbs. The cheese for both dishes are made up of 4 different Mexican cheeses.

Looking for something light? If so, then the mini chicken tostados may be small enough to satisfy without filling you to absolute capacity. How can you go wrong with marinated chicken, chunks of cotija cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions on top of crispy round tortillas?

Their Chili Relleno with Hoop Cheese is also quite tasty and when you cut a cross-section of the poblano pepper, you’ll see right away that they are definitely not shy about taking care of any cheese cravings you may have.

If you have a sweet tooth, their mini housemade churros stuffed with cajeta or chocolate will put a smile on your face and if you happen to order a Mexican hot chocolate, dipping your churros into that chocolate goodness is a must try.

As you can see, La Casita is definitely one of my favorite restaurants and just when I think that I can’t be surprised by Chefs Jaime and Ramiro anymore, it happens again. Recently, I took part in a 17 course dinner at La Casita that even now makes me happy from the inside out just thinking about it. The meal was a mixture of dishes I’ve had in the past and also, off the menu items like the Tequila-Infused Guacamole with Grasshoppers (off menu). I loved the creaminess of the guacamole and the light crunchy, earthiness of the dried grasshoppers.

We also got to sample their Green Ceviche (off menu), a pollock fish with poblano pepper, cilantro, onions, cucumber and lime juice. Refreshing and tart and I really enjoyed the crunch of the cucumber. What a great addition. This would be something perfect to have on a hot day.

The other seafood offering was a Fish with a Morita Chile Sauce (off menu). That morita sauce really gave some my fellow diners who had untrained palates when it came to spicy food, a rush towards a glass of water or bread to calm the flames. Not that I’m that much of a chili head, but for me it was just right and reminded me of tamarind for some reason. It had tangy flavor that I liked.

Part of the meal also included a recipe demonstration from the cookbook Chef Jaime and Ramiro are working on, revolving around the use of a Molcajete when it comes to making salsa. I think Mexican restaurants should adopt table side salsa making. It was fun to watch plus when everything was said and done, that salsa that was made right in front of me was absolutely fantastic.

That 17 course meal extravaganza ended with 4 desserts, two of which I’ve already talked about previously. Two of which were completely new. First, there was the one I’m going to refer to as an Arroz Con Leche Tortilla Won Ton (off menu), which was basically rice pudding in a tortilla shell.

The final dessert of the evening was Sweet Potato and Pineapple on a Cinnamon/Sugar Tortilla Chip (off menu). I liked how the opposing sweet and tart flavors of the two ingredients balanced each other out.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell already, I’m a big fan of La Casita and if all you’ve ever had of Mexican food has been limited to tacos and burritos, La Casita will definitely open your eyes as they have mine to what else is out there when it comes to Mexican cuisine. All you have to do is take that leap.

Dishes I tried:

Chili Relleno with Hoop Cheese

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Their Chili Relleno with Hoop Cheese is also quite tasty and when you cut a cross-section of the poblano pepper, you’ll see right away that they are definitely not shy about taking care of any cheese cravings you may have.

Churros

  • 5.0 star rating
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If you have a sweet tooth, their mini housemade churros stuffed with cajeta or chocolate will put a smile on your face and if you happen to order a Mexican hot chocolate, dipping your churros into that chocolate goodness is a must try.

Guayabas Con Compope

  • 5.0 star rating
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Guayabas Con Compope, stewed guavas in a Mexican eggnog liquor were both tart and sweet. Christmas came early!

Traditional Mole Poblano with Chicken

  • 4.0 star rating
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My first taste of mole and the flavors hitting my taste buds were amazing ~ nutty, smoky, a little bit sweet, a little heat. Simply amazing.

Chili En Nogada

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The Chili En Nogada is a poblano pepper stuffed with pork, dried fruits, walnuts, candied cactus, pecan cream sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. I liked how the poblano pepper still had a slight crunch to it. The filling was delicious and the pomegranate seeds added just the right touch of tartness.

Divorced Chilaquiles

  • 5.0 star rating
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With one half of the tortillas topped with salsa verde and the other with a red chili sauce, I loved how light and crunchy the tortilla chips were and always are.

Cheese Fondue with Chorizo

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If you love chorizo, a must order for you is their Cheese Fondue with Chorizo. Tear off a piece of tortilla, add a dollop of cheese and chorizo, wrap it, eat it and repeat it. Delicious!

Aztec Cheese

  • 4.0 star rating
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If chorizo is not your thing, check out the Aztec Cheese which is filled with poblano chile slices, mushrooms and herbs. The cheese for both dishes are made up of 4 different Mexican cheeses.

Mini Chicken Tostados

  • 4.0 star rating
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Looking for something light? If so, then the mini chicken tostados may be small enough to satisfy without filling you to absolute capacity. How can you go wrong with marinated chicken, chunks of cotija cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions on top of crispy round tortillas?

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LA Casita Mexicana

5.0
  • 5.0 star rating
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Incredibly Complex and Delicous Guadalajaran Cuisine

We are used to burritos, tacos, and quesadillas as typical Mexican food. Now we are more aware of Oaxacan moles. La Casita Mexicana showcases and serves food from the Guadalajaran region of Mexico. I really had a duh moment when I realized I hadn’t thought of Mexico as a huge country with regional differences. I was surprised at the subtle, complex, fresh, light, and delicate but very familiar taste of the cuisine served in this restaurant.

I usually stay away from Mexican food if I’m trying to eat healthy but I realize that this food is fresh and much of it is also healthy. I immediately fell in love with the fresh nutty taste of the sauces and moles that reminded me of my Korean grandmothers home ground meals and beans. The fragrant herbs and vegetables in their salsa are enticing in its strong just picked aroma and flavor. I’ve eaten many dishes there and there are dishes for every taste.

Dishes I tried:

Chili En Nogada

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This dish is a painting of green chile poblano, creamy white pecan sauce, and bright jeweled scattering of pomegranate seeds. When you break the chile open, dark brown ground pork with dried fruits, walnuts, and candied cactus comes tumbling out. Everything in this dish is addictive and incredibly unusual and delicious.

Traditional Mole Poblano with Chicken

  • 5.0 star rating
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The sauce is dark and chocolatey velvet over tender chicken. It is an incredible combination of subtly sweet with juicy meat.

Churros

  • 5.0 star rating
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Hot crunchy sugar coated churros. What more could you want? Wait, there’s a burst of hot creamy filling that makes it extra special. Mmmm try it with their Mexican coffee.

Aztec Cheese

  • 5.0 star rating
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How could you not enjoy a combination of various cheeses especially in the masterful hand of the chefs at La Casita? The four Mexican cheeses are melted all over mushrooms and herbs. Mmm

Divorced Chilaquiles

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All their chilaquiles are flavorful and crunchy. I liked all their sauces on the light hot chips. In this dish half of the tortillas is topped with salsa verde and the other with a red chili sauce.

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LA Casita Mexicana

5.0
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Specials menu at La Casita

Chile Relleno de Tamal de Huitlacoche
This was the special tonight at La Casita Mexicana It was a huge roasted pasilla chile. In the middle was a stuffing of a tamale with panela cheese in the center. The huitlacoche (some call it Mexican truffles) was blended into the masa with whole kernals of Mexican corn sprinkled throughout. The chile blanked the tamale and gave it a delicious flavor. It was resting in a light jitomate sauce. Over the top was a spoonful of Mexican crema and a thin slice of red onion. I’ve never had anything like it. Can you imagine the taste of a freshly made tamale sitting inside a chile instead of a corn husk?
Also on the specials tonight was a Pescado Tamarindo. It was so simple, gently sautéed with a dollop of tamarind sauce. I could’a cried… both of these dishes were that good. Chef Ramiro was so gracious as to share his recipe with me.
When I die and go to heaven, I want St. Peter to say, “our angels have been busy in the kitchen, which plate would you prefer first?”
Cecilia

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LA Casita Mexicana

4.0
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Marvelous mole!

So La Casita was my first visit for last year’s fall dineLA, and a worthwhile one at that. Three of us went, and we each ordered the price fix menu and were all extremely happy with our choices. Here’s what we ordered:

Appetizers:
- Azteca cheese fondue: Each bite had a different surprise – one bite had mushrooms, another had cactus, and another had a chili pepper. Mmmm…and even better with extra chili sauce added.
- Red snapper ceviche: Light and refreshing without being overly astringent.
- Chicken tacquitos: I didn’t get to try this but my friend said that they were delicious (no comparison to lame store-bought taquitos).

Entrees:
- Mole poblano with chicken: This was my entree of their famous 46 ingredient mole from their grandmothers and included peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chilis, etc. It amazes me how different every restaurant’s mole is, and yet how they each are good in their own way. This had a wonderful deep, earthy flavor and the chocolate really came through in the sauce. My only complaint is that one side of the chicken leg was a little tough for my preferences.
- Chili en nogada: Another one of La Casita’s specialties. This had a combination of beef, rice, raisins, walnuts, and candied cactus stuffed into a chili and covered with pecan cream sauce with pomegranate. Very unusual flavor combination that somehow manages to marry well. The only drawback was that while this was served warm, it didn’t arrive to the table piping hot, and perhaps that would’ve made it even better.

Desserts:
- Combination of a sweet yam flan, vanilla flan, and corn flan. They were not vastly different from each other in terms of flavor, but my preference was the corn flan which was sooo smooth and creamy. The other two were also delicious, but had a more dense texture (nothing wrong with that, just a matter of taste).
- Caramel filled churros – I also didn’t try this one, but my friends said that they were really good, and the caramel wasn’t unbearably sweet.

Chef Jamie also walked around to the different tables to chat and talk about the meal. He was super-friendly and explained how they make everything from scratch, keep fats and oils to a minimum, and use traditional recipes passed down from their family. It is definitely clear in their well developed flavors that these recipes have been worked on for many years, and I was impressed by the fact that their dishes were indeed not greasy.

In terms of the rest of the restaurant service, my only complaint was that they didn’t quite have the timing of their dishes right. They would bring out the entrees before we were done with our appetizers, for example, and did the same thing during dessert. The restaurant wasn’t overly crowded, so I was surprised about this. That said, our waiter was very friendly and helpful with our questions about the dishes.

All in all, I highly recommend La Casita Mexicana. Moles La Tia is still my preference, for their impressive mole and flan selections and quality, but La Casita is still a must-visit. It’s a particularly a good deal during restaurant week, because for $26 (plus tax and tip) not only do you get your appetizer, entree, and dessert, you also get a soup (cactus soup) or fresh salad as well as their special house coffee.

Dishes I tried:

Traditional Mole Poblano with Chicken

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Mole poblano with chicken: This was my entree of their famous 46 ingredient mole from their grandmothers and included peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chilis, etc. It amazes me how different every restaurant’s mole is, and yet how they each are good in their own way. This had a wonderful deep, earthy flavor and the chocolate really came through in the sauce. My only complaint is that one side of the chicken leg was a little tough for my preferences.

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September 16, 2010

  • 3 star rating
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Yay to La Casita

I have heard so much about this place. Now that my boyfriend lives in South Gate, we get to go out more often. \r \r The food is good. I had the Chile en Nogada and I liked it. The chips with Mole sauce is very yummy.\r \r I have to…

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March 18, 2010

  • 4 star rating
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Delicious

This restaurant has great food. They spcecialize in Mexican Mole, whichhave three type of mole to try, which are delicious. Their lemonade, I have to say is very refreshing and is one of my favorite drink when I visit La Casita. Plus, if…

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LA Casita Mexicana is located near the cities of Southeast, Maywood, Cudahy, South Gate, and Bell Gardens.
People found this by searching for: Chile Poblano, La Casitas Restaurant In Los Angeles, Chile Poblano Relleno, La Casita Mexicana Restaurant Bell, La Casita Mexicana, Blackberry Mole Recipe, and Jaime And Ramiro Chile Relleno.

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Loves LA Casita Mexicana (1)

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Chicago, IL
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Burbank, CA
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Diner Survey Results (2 responses)

Pros
  •  "The food is amazing. I have tried about everything on the menu and I can't complain. I even ordered one of everything on the dessert menu !!!"