First dates. Exciting, nerve-wracking, harrowing. The promise of a new and happy future balanced by the promise of going home and looking in the mirror wondering if it’s ever going to get better (probably not, sorry). The Monster is often asked where to take someone on a first date. It’s been well over nine years since The Monster has had a first date (grazie Mrs. Monster). That being said, there are two restaurants in Los Angeles The Monster would have recommended nine years ago and still recommends to this day.
The Westside winner: Casablanca.
Mind you, this recommendation has absolutely nothing to do with the food. The Monster does not like the food at Casablanca. It’s Mexican food in its dullest form. Beans, cheese, rice, blah.
But Casablanca has four things going for it that make it a perfect first date haunt. One, it’s a Casablanca themed restaurant. Casablanca is one of the greatest love stories committed to film. That will hopefully make your date overlook your ugly shirt. Two, Casablanca has unbelievable fresh flour tortillas and green tomatillo salsa with little chunks of cheese floating in it. Make a meal of these. The Monster has written (in his head) untold numbers of poems, songs, odes and tributes to these tortillas and salsa. This will possibly override the fact that you sweat too much. Three, Casablanca has live music at night. That’s great for when you realize you’ve wasted all your game in the first five minutes (truth be told you have little game). Four, Casablanca makes killer margaritas and has a fantastic list of tequilas. This can go one of two ways. You can pray your pays date pays more attention to her drink than you because you smell. Bad. But alas, if she does, you’re left at a place you can nurse a few rounds and limp home praying your luck will turn.
Why go: First dates, flour tortillas and green tomatillo salsa with few peers, margaritas and tequila help you forget.
Monster rating: 2/5 Monsters for food, 5/5 Monsters for tortillas and salsa, 0/5 Monsters for you
220 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291