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Back in November, 2009, I was spending the weekend with my son Matthew, who lives in Bakersfield, CA., and after a long day of four wheeling, when we arrived back in town, and we were famished.  Matthew and I have a lot in common, including our never-ending love of Mexican food; it's the preferred cuisine for both Matthew and I. When I asked him to recommend a good restaurant, without hesitation he recommended La Costa Mariscos.  Done deal! We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fish tacos, but I came quite unprepared, as I'd left my camera at Matthew's place, and had only the camera in my phone, which is woefully inadequate to do low-light photography.  So we vowed to return, and bring the camera...

Photo:  We'd just enjoyed a delicious dinner at La Costa, and the restaurant was closed, as I snapped this photo at 8 in the evening, on New Year's Day, 2010.

Fast forward to January 1, 2010, and after spending a great New Years day with Matthew and his family, it was time for dinner.  Today the mission was crystal clear:  A repeat engagement at La Costa Mariscos, so I could not only enjoy some of the best Mexican food in Bakersfield, but so I could finally publish an article on this Web Site, describing this wonderful restaurant.

As the name implies, La Costa specializes in mariscos, for the uninformed, that means Mexican seafood, in Spanish.  Another dead giveaway is that the name, costa means coast in English.  Yes, La Costa Mariscos has seafood on their menu - three pages of seafood - but if you're not a lover of seafood, you'll still be at home, as La Costa's menu features all of your Mexican favorites, including classic Mexican comfort food, combination plates, and entrées of every variety.

Photo:  Here's the view as you walk in the door, looking toward the cashier's station.  The dining room is quite small, but it's not cramped, and it's very comfortable.

La Costa is a comfortable, family-oriented restaurant, and is decorated with a pseudo nautical scheme, which is quite appropriate considering that seafood is their specialty.  The dining room is quite cozy, but not cluttered, and there's plenty of room to spread out, and get comfortable.  I especially appreciated the attractive tile floor, and the lighting, as it's very adequate, but not at all bright or distracting.  I didn't count how many tables are in the dining room, but I did notice the absence of booths, which is of no concern to me.  As we walked in the restaurant, we were greeted by Javier, who gave us a big friendly smile, and invited us to sit anywhere we wanted.  Seating wasn't at a premium, as there was only one other party dining in the restaurant at the time, as it was near closing time, on New Years Day.

Photo:  Javier poses next to Matthew, after he placed our dinners on the table.  

Almost immediately, Javier placed menus on our table, a bowl of fried tortilla chips, and a bowl of fresh, in-house made salsa in front of us, and asked us if we were interested in ordering something to drink.  ¡Sí, por supuesto! Adhering to our usual protocol, Matthew ordered a Margarita, and I ordered a Pacifico, which is my favorite brand of beer.  La Costa Mariscos doesn't feature a full service bar, but they're able to accommodate most common mixed drinks.  As for me, that's a non-issue, as there's nothing better than a cold beer to accompany a meal of delicious Mexican food.

The menu features a huge variety of choices, and features many pages of seafood, and traditional choices. Matthew an elegant seafood combination plate that featured a dish of octopus, clams and shrimp, with rice and refried beans on the side, and for some strange reason, I was in the mood for chorizo and eggs, accompanied by rice and refried beans.  Naturally tortillas are included; Matthew chose flour and I chose the corn variety.

Photo:  Javier takes a photo of Matthew and I (Eric.)  Note Matthew's elegant dinner of mixed seafood, and the fact that I can't wait to pour the rest of my Pacifico beer into my glass.

We'd barely finished our drinks when our dinner arrived; the drinks really hit the spot so we ordered a second round of them.  After our drinks arrived, we had a chance to chat with Javier for a bit, and we learned that the restaurant is family owned and operated, and has been in the same location for quite some time.  We were surprised as Javier remembered us from our previous visit, nearly two months ago.  Maybe it was my camera that did it, as during our visit in November, I told him about this Web Site and how I planned to publish an article about La Costa.  Whatever the case, Javier has a fantastic memory.  He's also a very friendly, personable guy, and an attentive, but not intrusive waiter.

OK, decor, service and drinks aside, what about the food?  It's good... very good... oh soooooo good!  I think I was able to be a pretty good judge of the dinner, as before arriving in Bakersfield, I'd spent three days visiting Tijuana, and enjoying countless meals of all varieties.  The food at La Costa is fresh, beautifully presented, and delicious - and there's plenty of it.  Matthew and I enjoyed everything, but we especially enjoyed the refried beans, as they were tasty and delicious.  The benchmark of a fine Mexican restaurant is their refried beans, and La Costa is definitely head and shoulders above the pack.  Any item on the menu is available at any time, which is a plus for someone like me, who enjoys a breakfast of chorizo and eggs for dinner.

Photo:  My delicious dinner of chorizo, eggs, rice and beans.  Javier brought our tortillas mixed together in a tortilla warmer, so we got to enjoy both flour and corn tortillas.  Tortilla chips and delicious salsa complete the picture.

Combine delicious food, great service, an attractive and comfortable place to enjoy your meal, ample portions, and La Costa Mariscos represents an outstanding value.  If you enjoy delicious Mexican food, served by great people, La Costa Mariscos should be on your list.  Highly recommended.

La Costa Mariscos
716 21st St at "Q" St.
Bakersfield, CA 93301
661 322-2655

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