Open For Lunch: Cocina Condesa

Studio City’s Cocina Condesa opened quietly for dinner June 4 and is now ready for lunch.

Now open for lunch: In an a previous column, The Sauce revealed that Cocina Condesa would open soon in the former Raphael space on Ventura Boulevard near Colfax. The crayon-colored cantina quietly opened for dinner on June 4 and on Monday added a lunch hour, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Popular menu choices include Guacamole Fuego, Pulpo Borracho (seasoned Pacific octopus) and chocolate mole chicken enchiladas served with a chile cocoa mole, refried white beans and Mexican-style red quinoa. Check Twitter: You’ll see plenty of rapturous customer tweets in both English and Español, which suggests the real deal.

And this is both Saucy and sweet: Condesa's salsa and hot sauce are prepared using Chef M. Elena Vega’s grandmother’s own family recipes.

Mixologist Gilbert Marquez offers creative cocktails including the Paloma (tequila, grapefruit, lime, salt, fizz) and Boyz in the ‘hood (involving something called King Cobra reduction and served wrapped in a brown paper bag). Warning: This article was written under the influence of the very tasty Margarita Condesa, the glass frosted not only with the obligatory salt but also sugar, cinnamon and a dash of chili powder.

11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-579-4264. Lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; happy hour 3 to 7 p.m.; dinner begins at 5 p.m. with no set closing time.

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