fresh and tasty fare at Border Grill downtown

This wonderfully chill restaurant is something of an anomaly. On the one hand, you have celebrity chefs at the helm and on the other, it shouldn’t feel as relaxed as it does because of that fact, but it does. I love the easy-going atmosphere where I will feel completely comfortable bringing my son, or even, a group of his friends with me.

A basket of very tasty chips arrived with three types of salsa. There was a roasted one, a roja and a verde. We also asked for a spicier one later on after we’d polished off the first basket and on our second — it’s hard to resist those chips which is why as you continue to read this you’ll realize we never made it to the entrees.

We ordered some cocktails — Cucumber + Elder Flower Margarita ($13) which had a slight kick from the serrano chile, and a Caipirinha ($11), a pretty addictive and refreshing cocktail.

Ceviche Duo ($15) was the perfect thing to whet our appetites. Baja Ceviche consisted of shrimp, lime marinated sustainable seasonal fish, jalapeno tomato and cilantro aioli and had a lovely creamy texture throughout. The Peruvian Ceviche, which I’ve tried at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge is lovely and tart with lime, ginger and aji amarillo chile as seasonings.

Watercress, Jicama and Orange ($8.75) was so refreshing. I love watercress salad and used to eat it a lot when I lived in Hawaii, but somehow, not a lot of places here have it on the menu. Together with crunchy jicama and sweet oranges, this salad makes a great light meal with bacon wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo and cabrales blue cheese and tossed in a toasted coriander vinaigrette.

The Quinoa Fritters ($7.50) are a healthy addition especially as an option for vegetarians. Sprinkled with cotija cheese and a drizzle of aji amarillo aioli, it was a little on the dry side. My friend asked for extra aioli and that did the trick. The fritters were so delicious after we slathered more sauce on it.

We also sampled the Crispy Potato Rajas Taco which is served on the lunch menu as well as the happy hour menu ($9.75/$3 respectively). Creamy potato and chiles, manchego, panela, cotija cheeses, guacamole, grilled corn relish and a chipotle crema made it a delicious crispy mouthful filled with contrasting textural components.

There is an array of desserts on the menu and the best part is the menu offers a selection of desserts in either a two item or three item choice. We got the Dessert Assortment ($9/2 item) — Goat Milk Cajeta Flan with caramel sauce which was very light and not at all like what I expected. The flavors were mild without the strong aromas of goat’s milk.

Banana Cream Pie was also mild in flavor. Homemade whipped cream was a great addition as well as the graham cracker crust.

Border Grill
445 S Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: 213-486-5171

Border Grill on Urbanspoon

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