Without a doubt, Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. It’s festively colorful and rich in distinct flavors and spices. If it is one of the dining options, it would always be among my prominent choices. It’s been a long time since my last Tex-Mex food trip and I admit to miss it big time. Good thing, the chosen venue for our latest team meeting was at Cobalabamba — a newly opened Mexican cantina in Venice Grand Canal Mall. Instantly, I knew what to order based on my classic favorites.
The Ambiance and Location
If there is one thing I am amused in this restaurant — it’s the vibrant interiors. The color palette is lively — from the furniture, wall mural, neon lights, door holder, dining utensils and the table ornaments. If the authentic Mexican restaurants are known to be rugged-looking and unfurnished, Cobalamba dared to be different. It is hip and catchy, trendy and non-traditional.
This was the previous location of Agave, another famous Mexican restaurant in Venice. Not really sure why it closed, but the replacement is notably worthy checking out. I just hope they would last long unlike its neighboring restaurants which closed probably due to location and competition.
Since we dined as a group, we ordered a mix of appetizers, rice meals, and dessert. In every dish, it is interesting to note the variety of ingredients and spices used. Every food had its own unique character.
The Coba Sticky Wings (Php 225) or the Baked Honey- Garlic Glazed Wings was sweet and tangy, yet well-flavored. There is no need for the Ranch dressing at all.
The Grilled Chicken Taco (Php 150) was also good. It was served with fresh corn salsa, lettuce, and Chipotle Ranch. However, the serving size seemed so small.
The Four Cheese Quesadilla (Php 205) was oozing with Cheddar, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar and Cheddar sauce. The Sriracha sauce complemented it well. Same as the Grilled Chicken Taco, the serving size was too small for its price.
Doble Nachos (Php 340) was one of our favorite appetizers. The crisp Corn Tortilla Chips was generously sprinkled with Chili con Carne, Pico de Gallo, olives, tomatoes, and drizzled with cheese sauce and sour cream.
The Mexican Chopped Salad (Php 260) is also a good way to start off your Mexican indulgence. The greens are fresh and the special dressing is also awesome. The grilled chicken toppings are a perfect match to the refreshing salad.
My Breakfast Burrito (Php 185) was a comforting rice meal. It was a complete meal having meat, vegetables and spices in one bowl. The Sriracha Aioli does not only add spice, it also binds the flavors together.
The Mexican Sisig (Php 200) imitated the famous Pinoy version, but with an added twist. Aside from the spiced-rubbed smokey pork, it has Chipotle sauce and Jalapeno for that extra zing. Since I’m not into pork that much, I find the pork fat too big and fatty as compared to the regular sisig.
The Tipsy Pork (Php 205) was a bit sweet and had hints of Tequila, but not too overpowering. It was something worth coming back to.
To cap off, we also had desserts, Churros.
Because the restaurant is on its soft opening, it is understandable that there are a few things to be considered as rooms for improvement in the speed and quality of the service. However, the staff are still polite and accommodating that you can say it is still a good experience.
Anyone who loves Mexican cuisine with a Filipino twist should definitely try this out. Not only the place is instagrammable, the tastes are generally satisfactory. Except for its appetizers, the serving portions are reasonable for the price.
This new concept will surely fascinate the students and young professionals in McKinley Hill. If you are bored with your usual dining routine, then this will strike the difference.
P.S. Thanks good friend Cath Redona for the photos!