Last week I ate for the fifth time at Mi Cocina in Chevy Chase since it opened in May this year. The food is tasty and comforting, and atmosphere relaxed, and the service very nice. I don't like to use the word "nice" but that is the only way to describe the service at Mi Cocina. I pass by the restaurant every evening on my home and there is always a crowd.
The restaurant is not exceptional, but a reliable source of delicious Tex-Mex food and tall margaritas that take the edge off. And who doesn't like that?
The first time I ate there, Eric and I ordered civiche to start. It tasted as if it had not marinated enough, which is disappointing because you really do want civiche to hit you between the eyes -- both with the lime and cilantro. It did not. And, while I never would have complained 20 years ago about too-large portions, I do now. No one needs to eat that much civiche. A small bowl would suffice.
Since that first visit, I have been satisfied with the corn chips and salsa to start, and always have as my main course enchiladas of some variety. I love enchiladas. I've tried both the beef and cheese, and it wasn't until two visits ago that I tried for the first time Mi Cocina's spinach enchiladas under the "Moderns" section of the menu. I enjoyed them so much that's all I order now. They are topped with cut vegetables and are on the lighter than the beef or cheese enchiladas. I cannot finish the dish due to the consumption of the chips and salsa so I take half it home and enjoy it the next day for lunch. Total satisfaction two days in a row!
Eric has gotten the Tacos de Brisket, which I tasted and can confirm are insanely delicious. And I am not a brisket lover.
I like that the restaurant gives each diner his or her own bowl of salsa; this would make George Costanza happy: he could double dip to his hearts content without being chastised. Oh yes, he does dip that way.
I have ordered the classic margarita, which generally has been tall and strong, except for the last time. I had to send it back because it tasted watered down. Talk about disappointment, especially after a long, stressful day. But our server and the bartender were -- you guessed it -- very nice about it and stiffened the drink.
The restaurant does not take reservations so you're either in luck when you show up or you wait and have a drink at the bar. Most days the floor-to-ceiling windows in the bar area are opened up onto Wisconsin Avenue, and there is outdoor seating off to the side of the restaurant next to a fountain, which affords some privacy.
When the restaurant first opened, I would not have thought it would be kid-friendly, but it is.
I do not like sitting in the main dining room area because it is dark and the decor seems out of place with the rest of the space. I recommend trying to get seats in the atrium, bar area, or outside.
5471 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815