Finding good Mexican food in Tokyo is a never-ending quest. For those of you keeping close watch, yes, my previous restaurant introduction was also a location serving up Mexican and Latin dishes (if you missed it, you can read all about TORO Gastrobar here). But I found myself at another location from my list recently: La Casita in Daikanyama. It was a great spot for a planned get together with a couple of friends and a perfect opportunity to investigate yet another Mexican-inspired place.
Just a few minutes north of Daikanyama station, La Casita is a stuccoed second floor shop with a bit of terrace seating and heavy emphasis on visuals. Plates, decorations, and even staff attire are brightly colored; woven fabrics and stand-out knick-knacks litter the place. It’s a tidy shop with wooden tables and brick walls. A bit on the cutesy side.
We visited during lunch, for which orders are taken from 12:00 to 14:20 on weekends (on weekdays, 12:00-16:40). Beyond that, the restaurant shifts to its regular dinner menu, so diners need not worry about hurrying off if they’d like to sit and relax for a bit (as our group did.)
There are five lunch options to choose from (ranging from 820 yen to 1000 yen, soup included): tostadas, enchiladas, chilaques, costilla, and the “lunch plate,” a sort of combo of options. Drinks (non-alcoholic) can be added to your lunch selection for an extra 150 yen.
Opting for the La Casita lunch plate, we found that the portions were heavy on the carbohydrates and thus quite filling. A couple of small corn tortillas (a rare and delicious find!) served along with lightly spiced rice (with shrimp included) left us having a hard time cleaning our plates. The meat in the dish was uninspiring, but it came served with salsa, which I applied generously, along with some pickled vegetables; these helped enormously with flavor. The combo comes with a small soup. I certainly couldn’t eat any more. I’ll explore the other options on the menu on my next visit.
The dessert options include flan, a coffee jelly, and the above-pictured rice pudding. It has a nice, mild sweetness and a pleasant texture that isn’t quite solidified. Topped with a bit of cinnamon, this was good, but tough to eat after such a large lunch.
La Casita also offers a number of original drinks; they have several frozen margaritas for diners to choose from. Portions are large, so this is good for when you’ve got a bit of time to sit, relax, and enjoy.
If, however, you want to enjoy your weekend a bit, go for the regular margarita on the menu (950 yen). Freshly made and poured at the table, the drink packs a punch. Gratuitous amounts of salt on the rim and a bit of lime in the liquid make a refreshing end to the meal. Share with a friend if you’re not feeling confident in your ability to drink the whole thing.
If you’re in the area and looking for somewhere to grab a bit of Mexican food for lunch, La Casita could be just the thing. If you’re looking for the most authentic thing you can find, this probably isn’t it. But here you’ll find a nice range of items to choose from and some tasty drinks. Great for a sunny afternoon! They offer a couple of courses (3340 yen for the “regular” course, 7 dishes; 4290 for the “Casita” course, 7 dishes) in addition to their lunch options.