Finally! We had a chance to visit Maradentro, the newest restaurant by Jesse Gomez. His first two restaurants Mercado and Yxta Cocina Mexicana have been so successful, he was able to open a third restaurant. He simply moved in to the space on Ventura Blvd, in Studio City, previously occupied by the recently departed La Ventura.
An obviously seafood heavy menu wasn’t going to stop me from venturing through the doors. I’ve become quite bold in my vegan requests as of late, and Jesse is so approachable I didn’t hesitate to email and let him know we were on our way to Maradentro to celebrate Louis’ birthday.
Our waiter was aware I was vegan, and immediately recommended the regular guacamole, the market vegetables and Arroz Salvaje. Normally I would be a little deflated to think that I would be getting what amounted to sides while Louis ate a “real” meal, but tonight this seemed perfectly in keeping with our mission to drink mescal and celebrate in a quiet corner.
Mescal is one of the most fantastic drinks you’ll ever have – smokey and rich. And this cocktail emphasized the smokiness to the point that the line between cocktail and salsa was blurred beyond repair. Truth be told, they could have brought out endless plates of guacamole and I would have been completely satisfied.
The vegetables and the rice are actually served separately, but I couldn’t resist combining them on one plate. The warm vegetables along with the sweet, cool, rice was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Oh, and did I mention the mescal cocktail complimented this as well? Seriously, you can’t go wrong with mescal.
Of course, when I emailed Jesse I told him that it was Louis’ birthday, but I didn’t tell Louis I did it! I wasn’t expecting anything special, so even I was surprised when Jackie, the manager, presented him with a little birthday dessert.
I stand by my insistence that a vegan can eat anywhere, and Maradentro continues to prove my point. Even a seafood restaurant will have something for a vegan. And a helpful friendly staff that wants you to have a good time.
Go eat at Maradentro!
Maradentro 11929 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 818.358.3423