Costa Del Sol

Hooray! We finally have a good restaurant in this brightly painted, inviting little place. I had the pork tacos al pastor, and the meat was tender and braised in a thick, well-seasoned sauce. There was cilantro, queso fresco, a bit of roasted pineapple, and a tasty tomatillo sauce. And they serve horchata, a sweetened, cinnamon-laced rice drink that I’ve never seen in BC. By all means give them a try. The new people have worked hard to make this a clean, and attractive little restaurant, and I think it shows great promise.

The fish tacos and shrimp tacos are terrific and the portions are large. The chef is using local Ling Cod and Spot Prawns and they are absolutely succulent! I can’t say the same for the Shrimp Diablo. There is some sort of thickener in the sauce that makes for a weird appearance and mouth feel. Same goes for the Tortilla Soup; instead of a rich but unthickened broth, theirs is kind of creamy in texture. I know they are doing a Latin cuisine, not Mexican. But these are classic Mexican dishes, and the fusion thing is not really working.

I have to say, it makes me feel really good to see the Costa del Sol’s patio full of people and to know they are getting good food. In past years, I always felt bad for the people who were lured in by the bright paint and street appeal of this little restaurant, because the food was so terrible and the facility so dirty. Hooray for the new owners!

There is a ubiquitous red rice that is served on almost every plate, and someone needs to take a look at that recipe. The rice seems to be cooked in plain water then a poorly seasoned tomato sauce is stirred in. The rice has three qualities; picante, sweet, slightly gritty. It should have a more rounded, complex flavour which is easy to achieve if they look at traditional Mexican recipes for inspiration.
I have the same criticism of the sauce used for their rellenos and the green mole. They lack balance and complexity. And I find the tanginess of the green mole rather jarring. I don’t think tomatillos have a place in something called mole. Maybe it should be renamed salsa verde.


Fish Tacos with the tangy crema sauce are wonderful.  The Panko-crusted Poblano Chile rings, served with a chipotle-crema sauce are light and delicious.  I was disappointed to have old, fishy tasting prawns in my tacos on my last visit. Chef needs to be keeping a closer eye on his inventory. I would advise against ordering Nachos. The toppings are great but there is something unpleasant about the texture of the chips. Food here is really inconsistent in that some dishes are amazing and others are big disappointments.


~ by maijatomboy on May 25, 2012.

3 Responses to “Costa Del Sol”

  1. Glad to see you’re back on the beat…we enjoy your reviews, and would be interested in more follow-up reviews as well. Just a quick comment here to note the owners of Costa del Sol have purposely called themselves “Latin” instead of “Mexican” to indicate their more broad approach to the cuisine.

  2. Thanks for your review.
    My mouth is watering for some quality Mexican/Latin cuisine.
    Sounds delicious!

  3. Excellent!

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