Sitting in the sliver of a restaurant that is Cocina Primavera and The Monster will say this: if the food is as good as the menu then this will soon be an absolute favorite.
It’s an open kitchen with seating for less than thirty but it still feels comfortable and relaxed. Perfect environment for a food orgy.
So here is what The Monster would like to order: crab cakes; chips and guacamole; corn tortilla cups filled with sautéed chicken, garden vegetables and black beans sprinkled with parmesan cheese; sweet corn tamales; calamari fritta; steamed mussels.
The problem is those are all appetizers. And those are all of the appetizers listed on the menu.
The Monster also wants the corn chowder, the tortilla soup and the bbq salad.
That’s before he gets to entrees like black pepper chicken, fried chicken, garlic shrimp, camarones negros, salmon negros, grilled swordfish, seafood pasta, seafood paella, Lake Superior whitefish.
That’s pretty much all the entrees and there are specials as well. They sound amazing.
To make matters worse (or better) the sides sound fantastic as well. This is the kind of dilemma The Monster loves.
The crab cakes start off this eating bacchanal. They are served three to an order, small deeply fried and accompanied with homemade tarter, lemon and orange. They are nice enough though not revolutionary. What is delicious is the sangria The Monster washes it down with. Fruity and tart and bright, it doesn’t suffer as some sangria does from tasting like it’s years old.
The sweet corn tamales are wonderful. Flavorful, the mild tomatillo salsa that comes with it is a perfect foil to the sweet dish offering up a saltier counterpoint.
Next up, mussels. Another winner. Meaty mussels, a tomato based broth that will have you taking your spoon and finishing it like soup once the mussels are devoured. A dash of heat and this would have been a total knockout. Ask for them to be served a touch spicy and you’ll be smiling.
The fried chicken (like The Monster could resist) is boneless with a slightly spicy crust and served with the tomatillo salsa. It includes sweet potato mash, broccoli (which feels out of place), and plantains. Love it.
The camarones negros however might be the dish of the evening. Six large shrimp in a sweet and spicy sauce that will haunt The Monster. Rice and beans finish off this entree.
Feeling like he’s being fattened up for foie gras, The Monster wants to say no to dessert. He does. Really. That of course does not happen. There is going to be some dulce de leche flan and apple tarte tatin.
By this point taste buds feel numb and stomach feels distended unnaturally. The Monster takes a bite of each and wobbles to the car. He’ll take a nap while he drives home.
Who go? You’ll order the parts of the menu The Monster did not.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
9111 West Olympic Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212