Thursday, July 28, 2005

El Meson

I don't know what it is about this place, but I'm totally smitten. The first time I went in there was a less than stellar experience. It was a few years ago and an unfotunate fellow I'd barely been dating wanted me, for some reason, to meet his mother. The little tiny white storefront was the scene of a very uncomfortable and blessedly breif dinner. Also, as it was near the holidays she did give me some very cute coasters. So, there was a little bit of bribery. More unfortunate for the fellow, this was not a love connection. He actually once asked me if I thought he was going bald. I did not know that this was something still up for debate as it looked like the great hair retreat had started years before meeting me. I mean, there was a crown of little barenaked head on his crown! What did he think? He borrowed a yamaca and forgot to take it off for a few years. Anyway, for many reasons the place didn't impress me. Maybe it was partially the bad, breif dating experience. More likely it was just the entirity of the lackluster dinner. Nothing was particularly good.
And then, on a whim and wooed by the thought of half price bottles of wine and sangria Sunday through Thursday! THURSDAY! My favorite day to go out and here they were bribing me! Also, I'd heard that there had been many improvements since about a year ago. They remodled and even more recently they expanded their cute little patio. After one wonderful experience with a small dinner with my best friend I was sold. Now, not only have I been back there 5 times in the last two months, but I've recommended it to friends who are now also regulars.
I still haven't made it to the entrees. The tapas are just too wonderful. On one occassion the meat tray was really oily and too much. The sausage wasn't spicy enough and the quince was overpowering. But for the most part, everything else was wonderful. My favorite is the little calamari stuffed with diced shrimp and crab served over a little crostini drizzeled in olive oil. The last time I was there we had their version of ceviche, which was a little bit different than what I expected, but it was really good. Lots of seafood chopped and limey with lively little cilantro bits over a corn tostada. Also, everything is served with a basket of really wonderful, really simplistic garlic bread.
The cute little patio almost always has openings and in the inside the booths are very private. All in all, it really is the perfect date night. And although I'm sure it will still be lovely in the winter time, it is so romantic for the summer nights. The perfect (HALF PRICED!) sangria and a lovely little trio of dishes to share. Afterwards, Crema cafe is less than a block away.


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