Restaurant Watcher – We’ll Always Have Venice

As some of you may know, I am based in Los Angeles, where we are having one of the WORST heat waves in recent history.

Generally, my area doesn’t get much hotter than the high 80’s to low 90’s. Yesterday –we hit 100 degrees. The sun literally “punched” you when you went outside.

We decided we needed to escape the hellish heat, if only briefly. So, it was time for a night out near the coast.

We met my sister and her husband in Venice Beach at Casablanca Restaurant. The owner was a huge fan of the movie, so he designed his restaurant to look like a fan’s dream. The parking spaces are even “reserved” for the stars of the film. We parked in Bogart’s spot!

The food is mexican, but emphasizes seafood more than the traditional mexican restaurant. I had a delicious broiled swordfish and steamed broccoli, with a side of white rice topped with cheese. The swordfish comes with a sauce of your choice. I went with the Baby Shrimp , Mushrooms, California Chilies, Basil & White Wine Sauce–on the side.

The Diet Friendly

The swordfish was fresh, and perfectly broiled La Gringa Bar and Grill. Slightly crisp on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. I took a tablespoonful of the flavorful sauce and ladled it on the side. It was perfect for dipping into–but I went easy on it. It was definitely creamy and my inner “calorie alarm” was going off.

The rice was tasty enough, but with the cheese topping, I limited myself to a bite, only. And really, it wasn’t missed. The swordfish and the deliciously steamed broccoli were more than enough. All in all, a fairly diet friendly (and definitely tasty) meal.

The Diet Unfriendly

The HEAVENLY, traditionally handmade (right therein the dining room) flour tortillas. It was a struggle, but I limited myself to one and a half (my sis and I shared) and no butter. I smeared the yummy salsa verde that comes with it on my dish, and dipped the tortilla in that. Not totally diet friendly, but satisfying and delicious. And definitely worth the extra calories, as long as you make sure to work them off in the gym!

Final verdict? This is definitely a place we will go back to. It’s tough finding restaurants that are moderately priced and have a menu that makes staying on your diet not only easy, but very very delicious.

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