Food Review: Casablanca Restaurant

Casablanca Restaurant
220 Lincoln Boulevard
Venice
310-392-5751

By Grace Hiney

Casablanca is a fascinating restaurant with an amazing selection of Mexican cuisine along with a wonderful tequila bar and music in the background to enjoy as you dine. A restaurant that was created about 50 years ago it not only has a fascinating menu, but delicious food. They even have homemade tortillas which are thoroughly enticing. These come in a warm napkin with specially made salsa shortly after you are seated so you have something to nibble as you study the extensive menu.

This is one restaurant filled with pictures of movie stars such as the “Casablanca” movie star Humphrey Bogart. While seated in a comfy booth in the bar my friend Barbara and I enjoyed studying the four page menu of various dishes each of which sounds delicious and very special. There are chicken dishes, steaks, even pastas, along with a variety of their famous burritos, Mexican specialties and a selection of tacos, that is all on the first two pages.  The next two pages feature eleven of their World Famous Calamari offerings and Brasero Specials while the last page is all dedicated to seafood.  I didn’t mention that we each enjoyed a glass of wine rather than a Margarita made with one of the restaurant’s special tequilas. This is one bar where you can find over 375 Tequilas. Here, the bartender makes your Margarita tableside so that you can be part of the scene.

After chatting and studying the menu, Barbara decided on the Sam and Chicken combo ($19.50). It turned out to be superbly flavorful with a broiled chicken breast topped with a Dos XX beer and mushroom sauce. With it came two shrimp cooked in a garlic sauce. A very nice small flavorful salad of Mandarin oranges and jicama came with the combo. Generously portioned, Barbara, as usual, took some home for lunch the next day. 

I, on the other hand, decided on the Calamari Acapulco after enjoying a cup of the fresh soup made with a few fresh vegetables. It had a pleasing healthy taste and made a fine beginning to the Calamari or sautéed Squid which came on rice with a crab, bay shrimp and garlic sauce along with a variety of beautiful fresh vegetables. This was also generously portioned and so tasty that I, too, took some home for the next day.

For dessert, we shared a delicious flan.

The calamari comes cooked in so many ways that it is hard to make a choice. One, for example, comes sautéed and topped with baby scallops, with a cognac, capers and garlic sauce. 

Seafood selections range from seven varieties of Pacific Rockfish, to a quartet of salmon dishes, and a trio of trout offerings as well as a quartet of shrimp dishes. All of these selections come with soup or salad, rice and vegetables and are priced under $20.

Many of the Mexican specialties such as the Burritos are only $14.99. Free parking is available in the restaurant lot, if you arrive before the crowd that is! We dined on a Monday night which was quite busy, and we heard that later in the week it was considerably more crowded.

Casablanca is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday open until 11 p.m. Brunch is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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