Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dine LA Menu Preview: Loteria Grill, Summer 2013

Mark your calendars for this summer's Dine LA Restaurant Week on July 15-26. To help you decide where to go, here's a preview of Loteria Grill's Restaurant Week dinner menu, available at their Studio City, Santa Monica, and Hollywood locations.

The Loteria Grill menu is $35 for 3 courses and there are three choices for appetizers:
Huarache Azul de Medallon de Res (blue corn masa oval disk with black beans, grilled beef medallion, roasted tomatillo and Poblano salsa, queso anejo, cilantro, onion)

Cuarteto de Sopecitos de Camaron (four mini shrimp sopes, two with Morita salsa, two with salsa verde cruda, black beans, avocado, crema Mexicana)
Mini Sopes
I really liked the sopecitos and we argued which salsa we liked better. The morita is creamier while the salsa verde had a fresher taste.

The vegetarian option is Crema de Elote (cream of white corn soup, roasted corn, Poblano chile strips, quesillo de Oaxaca, crispy corn tortilla)
Crema de Elote
The slightly sweet corn soup is poured over the cheese, corn, chile, and tortilla so that the cheese melts.
Mmm, stretchy cheese

There are also three choices for the main course, similarly it's shrimp, beef, and vegetarian.
The shrimp dish sounded simple but was actually really good: Enchiladas de Camaron en Salsa Loteria (two shrimp enchiladas in a tomato-chipotle sauce, white rice, sauteed spinach, avocado)
Shrimp Enchilada
The Salsa Loteria is a secret salsa that they have. It's not on the menu but you can actually ask for it (the staff eats it all the time!) and it's making an appearance on the DineLA menu. It's a lovely spicy, creamy tomato sauce that works really well with the shrimp. The rice is also nice and fragrant.

The vegetarian option: Chile Relleno de Manzana y Nuez Garapinada con Salsa Epazote (Chile Poblano filled with goat and requeson cheese, apple, caramelized pecans, epazote and white wine sauce)
Chile Relleno
Last time Loteria Grill wowed me with their vegetarian entree of stacked huitlacoche lasagna, and this time once again the vegetarian option is my favorite. The chile itself is not spicy, and the combination is so interesting. The cheese stuffing is refreshing and sweet, combined with the breaded chile and the creamy epazote sauce. Such a unique and delicious dish.

Medallon de Res en Salsa de Poblano (7oz grilled beef medallion on a bed of huitlacoche and chile Poblano sauce, topped with chile Poblano strips and esquites. Sauteed Mexican squash in Ancho chile olive oil and mashed drunken beans)
I think this would've been a great dish but unfortunately the beef was overcooked and a bit tough for my taste.

Dessert options include housemade ice cream (choice of sweet cheese or abuelita chocolate) and dessert tacos.
Do try the housemade sweet cheese ice cream
Sweet Cheese Ice Cream
The chewy bits of sweet cheese in the ice cream were such a pleasant surprise. I normally go for chocolate, but I'm so glad I tried this.

Tacos Dulces (three dessert taquitos, flour tortilla, sweet cheese crema, corn salted croutons, fresh mango, grilled pineapple, hibiscus reduction, micro churros)
Dessert Taco
The flour tortilla is a bit more like a crepe rather than the regular flour tortilla, and after playing around they decided to make it this size so that the flour doesn't overwhelm the fruit flavors. The crunchy micro churros really made this work.


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