Overview | Only having opened just a few days prior to my first visit, I was prepared for kinks, menu changes, imperfections – the usual expectations you set when it comes to anything entirely new. But to my total surprise and sheer delight, Cocina Condesa exceeded expectations and completely blew me away – like “new-favorite-Mexican-restaruant” blew me away. Situated right along Ventura Blvd in Studio City the restaurant offers a semi al fresco style dining complete with a patio, rustic Spanish style furnishings and a bright color palate of the primary variety. Despite what the recognizable dishes and authentic Mexican meal may tell you, this is not your average “Abuelita style” fare. Cocina Condesa would describe their style as influenced by “Mexican street fare” but with a healthier twist. Healthy or not, good Mexican food is good Mexican food, and with the help of a fun and lively environment, an outstanding cocktail list (crafted by Executive Mixologist, Gilbert Marquez), and a young/modern chef (Chef M. Elena Vega) with Abuelita’s approval, Cocina Condesa is kind of nailing all aspects to this whole dining thing.
I loved that even on their third day of being open by 7pm the place was packed, I loved that they’d opened prepared with an epic happy hour menu with great cocktails and actually fair prices, and I loved that after the first taste you would have never guessed they hadn’t been open for more than a few years and weren’t already top contenders on some of LA’s “Best Of” lists. If you’re looking for great Mexican (which, who isn’t), a great happy hour, incredible tacos, and the perfect hip yet casual joint to hang, Cocina Condesa is your next stop.
Favorite Drink | “Bronco”: “weeskey” (see what they did there), ginger, watermelon, soda – it’s worth noting they squeeze their juices (in this case watermelon) fresh every single day, and the Bronco is available on the Happy Hour menu for $6!
Must Order | All the Asada Tacos you can handle. The crispy shallots that come with… genius. I kept saying if they’d been at Tacolandia this year that taco would have won. But also don’t forget their delicious and fresh guacamole and an order of empanadas.
Perfect Spot For | TACO TUESDAY (because they actually have one – $5 for two tacos), Happy Hour (because they actually offer great stuff for great prices during great hours), cocktails, open air dining, Mexican food craving, date night, girls night.
Pro Tip | If you’re a margarita/mezacal person Cocina Condesa is your spirit animal. No pun intended.
Fun Fact | If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can have guacamole with toasted crickets.
Cocina Condesa | 11616 Ventura Blvd. Studio City 91604 | 818-579-4264