By Daniel Paris
Now that restaurant restrictions are being slowly lifted, dining patrons seem ready to enjoy their favorite meals in person. No more Styrofoam containers of delivered tepid food. A few brave entrepreneurs are opening new restaurants as scores of others are closing permanently.
Casa Luna is one of them. Opening in early February of 2021, two couples are risking it all to introduce the public to the cuisine of Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco, home of tequila, Mariachi music, and the sombrero.
One of the owners, Jose “Pepe” De la Torre, explained with great pride how Guadalajaran cuisine is a more thoughtful refined version of Mexican cuisine available in the Coachella Valley. The focus is on obtaining premium seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruits and preparing them to take advantage of their unique flavors and textures. Casa Luna makes several sauces in-house to accompany entrees. A pasilla pepper and roasted cream corn sauce, a pistachio and cheese cream sauce, and a spicy chili arbol are just a few. The red sauce on my cheese enchilada had a deep-layered smoky chili flavor instead of the typical bitter flavor of most red enchilada sauces I have experienced.
I ordered the A la Tampiqueña house specialty that featured tender, marinated sliced sirloin cap with a red sauce cheese enchilada, creamy, flavorful chunky refried beans with sautéed onions and green chili strips accompanied by the Gratinado (pistachio cheese) cream sauce. The presentation and flavors provided me with an elegant meal.
The atmosphere and modern décor accentuated with tasteful artwork from Jalisco enhanced my dining experience. I am eager to return to try their many seafood entrees. This is not a typical gringo-ized rice and pasty refried beans Mexican restaurant.
Casa Luna Restaurant
72355 Hwy 111 Suite C
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.