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AMARANTA COCINA RESTAURANT AND TEQUILA HEAVEN

By Michael Hepworth

I have discovered a new authentic Mexican restaurant in the back of Topanga Mall which not only serves authentic Mexican food from the central region, but also has 400 different brands of Tequila. This impressive selection may possibly be the largest selection of tequila in Los Angeles County .  The restaurant is part of an ownership group which includes San Franciscan restaurateurs Eduardo and Sylvia Rallo.  As their first venture into Southern California, the Rallo Family wanted to bring true regional central Mexican specialties from Puebla and the Yucatan Peninsula .  The concept behind Amaranta’s menu is the blending of the rich flavors, textures and traditions from the Aztec and Mayan cultures, with the use of dried fruits, nuts, wine and cheeses from the Spanish and the French.

Los Angeles designer Gregory Roth came up with the interior concept of pinks, burgundies and neutral colors in a wood theme. The entire restaurant can handle up to 154 guests, and one can only imagine how bustling the place will be around the holidays, considering the food quality and excellent service.  A typical example of the food served here would include several unusual items not usually found out here such as the chocolate covered Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Mole Poblano).  I also tried the Lamb steamed in banana leaf (Chamorro de Cordero En Barbacoa), certainly the first time I have ever tried lamb done this way.  The cooking process allows the lamb to just slide off the bone, and this is one of the standout dishes in the restaurant.

The presentation of the dishes here also deserves mention, nice large spacious plates that give perfect credit to the food. The home made tortillas are also excellent as are the Quesadillas Mixtas, and the three types of salsa are also top notch, ranging from mild to hot. Another appetizer that is selling well is the Ceviche de Pescado, lime marinated chunks of tilapia fish on tostaditos. Guacamole is prepared at the table using a stone mortar and pestle, and other food treats Include Michoacan-style 20 hour Marinated Carnitas, slow cooked for four hours.

The tequila’s here are all made from 100% Blue Agave, and are served in flutes, and arranged by category (Anejo, Reposado, Blanco). If you really want to show off to your date, then try the $175 a shot Tres-Cuatro-Cinco, a 600 bottle brand. If you prefer the margarita, then the 15 different varieties are all mixed with fresh squeezed fruit juices (watermelon, pomegranate, mango, orange, tamarind, cantaloupe).  The restaurant now is offering a $35 dinner pairing tapas with one tequila brand’s entire range which is held on the last Monday of every month.  If there is a group of you going, then shoot for the private dining room, and they even have a gift store where you can pick up there special home made salsas.

 

Fact Sheet

6500 Topanga Canyon Blvd ,

Suite 1029 , Canoga Park

Enter via Owensmouth Garage

 

Phone: (818) 610-3599

 

Hours:

Sun/Mon: 11:30 AM- 9:00 PM

Tue/Wed: 11:30 AM- 10:00 PM

Thu: 11:30 AM- 11:00 PM

Fri/Sat: 11:30 AM- 1:00 AM

 

Brunch Saturday and Sunday

Happy Hour: 3 PM to 7 PM

 

 

Website: www.amarantarestaurant.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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