236 S. Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212
310 278 7666

The Scene: Chic Mexican Cantina—Beverly Hills style
Cuisine: true Mexico City Cuisine
Must Try: Mole Pablano El Rey
Star Rating: 2.75
Average Cost: Entrees $14 to $32

!Hola y feliz Cinco De Mayo!

There is a poquito piece of Mexico in Beverly Hills and we’re not speaking of a piece of…like El Torito Grill or La Salsa. We are talking about genuine Mexican cuisine, just north of the Zona Rosa.

When you enter on South Beverly Drive, you feel like you have arrived in a small Mexico City canteen, which believe it or not, is hard to find here in our own City of Angels.

This Cinqo de Mayo, it was our quest to find quality Mexican cuisine and Frida--which has been in business for almost five years now--was the answer. The walls are covered with Mexican art and icons, and candles drip from wrought iron stands. The ceiling is exposed in concentric circles of wood branches, making you feel like spinning plates and downing mojitos. Speaking of, the wood-laden bar whips up a variety of typical drinks including delicious margaritas (and all of their tequilas are the higher quality 100% Agave), but the mint mojito is authentic and yummy; count on having more than one.

As soon as you’re seated, three authentic salsas are rushed to your table with a volcano of freshly baked chips. The dippings range from mild to hot and if you’re not careful, you could certainly start and stop your meal right here.

The staff is entirely Mexican, which adds to the genuine feel, and the service is polished. For appetizers, our muy guapo waiter suggested their Tortilla Soup, which compared well to the famed Beverly Hills Hotel Tortilla Soup. Flavored uniquely, the soup bowl was covered in cheese and accompanied by a side of avocado, more cheese, cream and fried pork-skins ($8). What could be more dietetic and healthy than that? If you haven’t had enough of the freshly cooked corn chips, also get an order of Gauacamole Frida, which consists of fresh avocados mixed with onion, Serrano chile, tomato and cilantro; not too spicy and the right amount of chunk ($9). There are also six variations of ceviche offered on their “ceviche bar”; we recommend the Ceviche de Pescado, which is a combo of fresh fish, avocado, tomato, jalapeno peppers and cilantro, all marinated in the special Frida cocktail sauce ($17).

Jumping into a plethora of choices, the Dining Duo highly recommends one of the moles (pronounced “moh-ley”), which is a spicy sauce flavored with chocolate and usually served with chicken or turkey. The Mole Poblano El Rey ($21) is an original recipe from Puebla. It’s chicken is simmered in 27 different spices, including a chile chocolate sauce, and served with rice and beans. Scott preferred something lighter and that used to swim, so he tried the Halibut Primavera. The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection, garnished with vegetables on white-lime-epazote and chile verde sauce, and all this for $27. Michael, always into meat, totally enjoyed the Filet Tentacion, charbroiled filet mignon on a Mexican truffle-chile sauce called Cuitlacoche; it was topped with goat cheese and jalapeno sauce, and served with sautéed mushrooms and grilled chayote squash for $32.

Please save room for some typical, yet unusual Mexican deserts that will dazzle the taste buds. In particular, make certain to try the triple-leche vanilla cake made with regular milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk, and as light in the loafers as the Dining Duo ($8); the Crepe Crebas, a Mexican crepe of sorts, was smothered in caramel and walnuts ($8), and slipped off the plate right into our mouths.

Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo, or any other day, The Dining Duo says to Frida’s: Ole!

SCOOP: The Dining Duo has heard from inside sources that Frida’s will open a “gourmet taco shop” in the Brentwood Country Mart within the next 6 months. This should be a nice addition to an already diverse set of eateries.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 10:05 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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