Whenever I find a restaurant that’s been around longer than I, I know it must be special. Check out the venerable Lula Cucina Mexicana on Main Street. With attractive interior décor, including one section that overlooks Main Street, plus an outside patio, this Mexican restaurant has withstood the test of time.
WHERE: 2700 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 452-1734.
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
BEST DISHES: It’s hard to pinpoint any one outstanding dish. The “Plato de Botana” mixed appetizer consists of one dense cheese and corn quesadilla; a stuffed jalapeño where the green pepper is crispy and raw instead of thoroughly cooked as I’m accustomed to; a delicious duck sopes; and a fried squash blossom. The simpler dishes such as the fish of the day and the carnitas plates are a better bet.
BEST FEATURE: Good service, a pleasant setting and a wide choice of many different Mexican dishes with their respective differing flavors.
WORST FEATURE: Like many Mexican restaurants, the plates arrive with the foods placed together so that the flavors get mixed up. I like my foods served separately. And, the recipes are not super authentic, nor is this a place to go for a cheap meal. I paid $40 for two at lunch recently.
WHAT TO DRINK: I always drink a Dos Equis amber when eating Mexican food. But, I’ve heard that the margaritas are very good here.
BOTTOM LINE: When you’re in the mood, Lula Cucina Mexicana is a good place to go for Mexican food.