Sol Y Luna: Most worthy Mexican cuisine in the West Valley

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erinnphoto110x110BY ERINN EICHINGER

Sol Y Luna sits on a quiet stretch of Ventura Boulevard right in between Tarzana and Woodland Hills.  It’s easy to cruise by, notice the artistic sign, and keep right on going.  But as I found out on two separate visits, it’s worth a stop.

The first thing you’ll notice is the old school Mexican Cantina décor, complete with Virgin Guadalupe statues, Sombreros and twinkle lights, think campy and you won’t be too far off.

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Both times at Sol Y Luna, the joint was jumping, the crowd a nice mix of families celebrating special occasions, couples, and groups of ladies doing a girls night out.

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The bar area was small and cozy and the large selection of handmade margaritas tempting.  Their house hand blended margarita was bright and tangy with a liberal, yet not heavy handed, portion of quality tequila.

While at the bar we tried the Ceviche ($9) which was chock full of shrimp, white fish, tomatoes and lots of cilantro.  The clean bright flavors of fish and lime were enhanced by a sweet squeeze of orange juice.

A little more unusual, but equally as delicious, was the Rajas Con Crema ($6).  Rajas, pickled green peppers, are the main ingredient of the dip that also includes corn and onions all bubbling in a tasty cream sauce.   It was rich, gooey and comforting in the same way a good spinach artichoke dip is.

Pork and cheese entree

Chile Verde

The main restaurant area is similar in feel to the bar, in a word, festive.  Our server was cheerful and very attentive and the strolling guitar players added a nice touch.

The Chili Colorado ($13) was loaded with lots of tender meat and the sauce had a great depth of flavor with an unexpected hint of allspice. The Chili Verde ($13) was smothered in a delicious tomatillo sauce that had great layered flavors.  One down side was that the meat and sauce were undermined with too much salt and way too much cheese.  In this case less would have been much, much, more.

Halibut Poblano

Halibut Poblano

Fairing better was the Halibut Poblano ($19).  The sauce had a nice kick and didn’t overpower the light fish in any way.

I always feel soup is a good a test as any to see what kind of strength a kitchen has and the Albondigas ($6) a traditional Mexican meatball soup, didn’t disappoint.  The meatballs were full of the flavors of cumin, garlic and cilantro and they, along with lots of veggies, were all happily swimming together in a zesty broth with lots of citrus.

We took a chance with a seasonal specialty of the house the Green Corn Tamale ($10). While it had good flavor, sadly it was a bit dry, a common pitfall with tamales.  The roasted poblano plantains they came with saved the dish from being a total loss as they were quite good. The tableside guacamole is a treat and prepared to your liking by your server with two avocados ($9).

In the end we enjoyed our cocktails, appetizers and soup more then the entrees, but would not hesitate to go back again and try more dishes that looked wonderful at nearby tables.  The service was very warm, the atmosphere decidedly jolly and the food prepared with enough love and attention to merit many more visits.

Sol Y Luna 19601 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91336 (818) 343-8488 Tues -Fri. 11am-10 pm, Sat. 3-10 pm, Sun 2-10 pm. Closed Monday www.solylunarestaurant.com

Erinn Eichinger is a lifestyle writer for print and television who’s worked and lived in the Valley for close to 20 years. She was a contributing writer for Sun Community Newspapers, as well as Fox News, KCBS News, Food Network, Discovery Health, A&E, Fine Living and The History Channel. You can check out more of her writing at www.Sundaydish.typepad.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • http://la.foodblogging.com/author/maxmillion MaxMillion

    The super-fresh guacamole – prepared tableside – is absolutely superb! It’s hands down the best guac I’ve ever tasted (besides my own!) He mashes up two of the most perfectly ripe avocados and you get to tell him “more” or “less” on the additional ingredients of chopped tomatoes, lime juice, peppers, finely chopped onion … Wonderful!

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