I've been here a few times now, and have to say that while I absolutely LOVE the ambiance and atmosphere, the attitude - of the wait staff and the general clientele - I can do without. In fact, when at a loss for where to grab a simple, hearty meal, we'll often pass on this place as we are usually "in no mood for the 'tude." But I digress. On my first visit, we were seated in the lush, green patio area where I enjoyed a cheeseburger and my companion had spaghetti and meatballs. The portions were generous and overall tasty and satisfying. However, our waiter - who we later determined must have been new - was inattentive and a bit detached, even as we continued to try to engage him by just being pleasant and polite. He warmed up in the end and was nice enough, so the evening ended well. On a subsequent visit for a late Sunday brunch, we sat in the semi-enclosed back room with a ridiculously rude and noisy group. Our waitress was aloof, also detached, and condescending when asking for my ID. Since my only child is old enough to drink legally, I'm usually quite flattered when I am carded - which is surprisingly often, and hilariously funny to my mostly younger friends who don't drink. But this chick actually "spoke down" to me and while she might have intended her gaffe to be funny, it wasn't. After our drinks finally arrived and our order was placed, I enjoyed the Garden Herb Tuna Sandwich on a French Roll which was just OK - not exactly what I expected given the tasty burger I'd enjoyed a few weeks before - but it was passable. Given the overall snarkiness of the atmosphere that day among the staff and patrons, I can't say that I enjoyed my second visit as much as the first. I will likely return to this place at some point, but will perhaps do so during an off-peak time in hopes of getting better service and a tastier dish.
1648 N Cherokee AveLos Angeles, CA 90028
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The atmosphere is the best thing about this place. It's so festive outside, with the raised porch patios, twinkle lights and the koi fountain in the middle. The drink menu is extensive, as is the menu. It's all over the place, but they specialize in the "homey" dishes like pot pies and desserts. For my money, it's all about some of the new additions like grilled veggie salad and the healthy bean salad.
Ensenada Restaurant features great traditional Mexican food at a good price. In the heart of downtown Los Angeles one block away from the Ronald Reagan State Office Building, it is frequented by many state government workers and others from the neighborhood. Truly a great escape for lunch. My recommendation is to come with an empty stomach, be prepared to eat and leave completely satisfied!