Tucked away just off the main drag of West Hollywood, The Gardens of Taxco has been a West Hollywood institution since 1971. As a child brought there for special occasions, I thought that with its muted lighting, multi-course meals and spoken menu, this restaurant was the epitome of fancy. While I now know that fancier places exist, I still get an unparalleled thrill from the prospect of enjoying their dining experience.
Upon being seated they bring you freshly fried chips and a very yummy salsa along with pickled veggies. After bringing your drinks (at one time I would have recommended the Shirley Temple, but now I go with the margaritas) your waiter comes over to tell you what’s on the menu.
This is an integral part of the dining experience at The Gardens of Taxco. Personally, I like to make him go through the entire menu every time, but if you’re impatient then do what you will. Even if you’re a vegetarian, have him at least tell you about the chicken. You’ll learn that the sauce of the Pollo a la Crema tastes “like the chicken was booorrrrrrrnn in it.” And, it does.
After placing your order, you’ll be brought albondigas soup (veggie version is available if you ask) followed by a small quesadilla topped with guacamole (words cannot describe the joy that this little piece of heaven brings me). Next you’ll get a tiny enchilada (what kind depends on what you ordered) and then your main course (served with rice and beans).
Once you’re stuffed, a small glass of sherry appears along with a supremely delightful creamy banana dessert served in a glass that should be three times the size. If you can get me that recipe, you’ll have a friend for life.
Amazingly this five-course meal costs only $23.95 + tax per person. If you like to eat dinner before 7pm, log on to their site www.gardensoftaxco.com for a coupon to get this meal for only $14.95. Fill out their comment card and they periodically send an offer for a free meal (party of 2 or more) with no expiration date.
Their margaritas are wine-based, but they’re tasty and they work just fiiine. The flavors are either strawberry or mixed fruit. I like them better than the sangria. A carafe is $13. It’s a far better deal than the half carafe, which is $9.
Dinner is served Tuesday-Thursday 4:30-11pm, Friday and Saturday until midnight. Don’t go on Monday, ’cause they’re closed.
The Gardens of Taxco
1113 North Harper Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90046 (map)