La Mexicana is month old newbie that has come up in the ever busy Kukatpally area with a clear tag line "Eat Fresh Live Well". This venture is a joint collaboration of Mr. Venky Medicharla (Co-Founder & Managing Director) based in Dallas, USA and Mr. Sundeep Goswami (Co-Founder & VP Franchise) based in Chicago, USA with a idea to bring in authentic MEXICAN Cusine at a afforable fast food based style. This is not a fine dining experience but will definitely bring in some healthy food at more affordable prices considering the location they have chosen. The recipes and the dishes have been incorporated and visioned by Chef Luis Trejo who hails from Aguascalientes City, New Mexico and owns 2 restaurants in New Mexico and Boston, USA. The chef has indeed worked in this spot till its launch and trained Chef Javed and his team to perfect the recipes and the sauces in particular which are so important for the Mexican dishes or else they could be mocked up for review. Got some of these details from Mr. Anil Kumar Khambatla who currently runs the operations and floor management of this place. It was nice meeting him and knowing the background of this place.
Planning to hit a newbie not far from my home, this new place in zomato caught my attention with limited reviews but very positive ones about the mexican flavours. The place which I had minimal expectation(s) but interesting reviews in zomato made me to visit it though I have must go places in my list for long. The place as such in terms of decor and interiors DID TOTAL JUSTICE to Mexican theme. Being in Texas for 2 years and travelling to mexico border for some amazing dining experiences, My expectations weren't high considering it was in kukatpally. But then they have excelled my expectations in decor and I'm totally impressed.
Ambiance (Decor & Interiors):
Located on top of Cashew House just 200 mts after you get down MMTS Kukatpally fly over, this place is very easy to miss and I had to be extra sure to reach this. The yellowish hoarding does spll authenticiy as you get to see bright and vibrant colors of mexico. As I entered into this place, it looked more like a dull yellowish indianized version of Taco bell outlet. But as I sat down to observe the decor and the items displayed, it was made with completely mexican understanding and nothing fell away from the theme and the cusine they wanted to present. The Mexican sombrero hats they provide for the guests which is quite intersting and the maracas as well. It just gives you to try being a mexican for few moments. The graffiti and the mexican based movie stills across and the bright vibrant feathre lamb shades, the uber colofrful mexico logo behind their counter and the mexican culter and traditional depication with the mexico map. Everything was done with so much freshness and creativitiy. Evern the A/C units bore some interesting one-liners in a mexican way "Why dont you wanna TACO about it" "Because I'm NACHO friend anymore" really tickled me for a quick smile :) Nice creativity. So I'm completely impressed with the work done. But as a guy who needs more conviction, I felt that bit more vibrant yellow feel overall would have made it so closely authentic to mexican feel.
I went with my family who are very particlar about what they eat and after multiple reviews of the menu we went for kids meal - Chicken Quesadilla, Cheese Quesadilla and for us, Southwest Chipotle Salad and Mexican Torta Sandwich.
Both the quesadillas since ere kids version was only 3 piece dishes, and I should say my elder kid loved it. Subtle amount of cheese - fresh sour cream on top of it and quite appeatizing.
Southest Chipotle Salad (Chicken) mixed with fresh romain lettuce, iceberg lettuce, chipotle sauce, ranch, tomato, corn, tortilla strips, onions and avacado (hardly could see it) . The dish for the price looked very appeatizing and the taste was almost there. I could taste the mexican freshness in the ingredients. I feel they have not compromised on the fresh ingredienets. The only bad feel was too much of green iceberg lettuce as we felt over time we were just only eating it than the main hero - CHICKEN or any other ingredient. Infomed the same to Mr. Anil to take care of it.
Mexican Torta Sandwich - Mexican style grilled chicken sandwich and other basic mexican ingredients. This was top notch. The pulled chicken was so soft and well cooked and of course the grill crunch on the bun was amazing. The lettuce provided the coldness that you normally expect in mexican sandwiches and together they all gelled in well. I say they almost nailed it.
As we planned for a light dinner, we wrapped up without much expoloration of the menu but as they got Taco, Enchiladas,Burrito, Quesadilla, Gauc and Chips Fajitas, and crispy flautas.
I'm now convinced that they have done their homework very well nd deinfitely bring in freshness at affordable cost which is exactly the logo tagline of TACOBELL and CHIPOTLE - my most fav fast food chains in my USA stint. So I would say this has made me feel so love for mexican food and these guys can provide it to me at reachable distance. Prices thought people in kukatpally might feel are pricy, I feell they are justifiable considering the freshness and all sauces are made in house or got from reliable vendors.
Service & Hospitality:
At the end of the day its a fast food counter based dine spot and so dont expect top notch service. But for what I experienced, they are poilte and sure are looking out to take care of thei customers. They can get a little more knowledgeable on the menu as I'm sure many of their regular customers might now know the cuisine and the dishes available. That would help eleviate their experience a level more easily.
Overall a very good debutant in this area which has delivered Mexican flavors and not the TEXMAX that lots of high profile places in prime locations .Definitely they have deliver the freshness in dishes consisntently but I feel they will and I wish them all the very luck to take this to next level and per Anil's plans they are planning to open up based on the feedback and short term goals achieved. People who want to try a different cuisine but dont want POCKET-TORCHERS, please do visit this place, you will appreciate the food and definitely in a more afforable way.