This weeks Monday review post is from our guest contributor, The Gardener.
We recently took a weekend drive in search of a Mexican restaurant named “The Whole Enchilada.” We knew approximately where it was in Moss Landing, California, but not exactly. As it turned out our drive took us along the coastline, past the vegetable fields and fruit stands. We picked it out right away because of the bold, bright colors used to paint the establishment. The Whole Enchilada strives to provide their clientele with the utmost in central coast flavors.
Bordering a marina and vegetable fields in Moss Landing, CA., The Whole Enchilada serves fresh seafood and produce. The food is colorful and the flavors are bold. That’s the mantra of updated Mexican fare, to blend age-old recipes with new techniques. Here the catch of the day is right off the boats and prepared in the authentic Mexican Coastal style. Indulge in a fresh fruit Margarita while dining inside or out. The Whole Enchilada also specializes in a wide variety of Tequila.
We wanted to sit on the patio the moment this “gardener” saw it. There were huge hanging plants everywhere. In fact, nearly the entire ceiling was covered with white hyacinth floating like clouds. The atmosphere was “beach cantina”. It had a definite maritime flavor with light filtering in and vibrant tropical decor, even palms sprouting from the floor. This is a place to come have fun.
The food at The Whole Enchilada fits into the category of Nuevo Mex – lots of dishes in Mexican tradition but with modern treatments, borrowing flavors and techniques from others cuisines.
Among the twenty different entrees are the house specialities – seafood sopes with jumbo prawns, frijoles, salsa, and crabmeat; Oaxacan chicken mole tamales wrapped in banana leaves; and traditional chicken tamales–simply the best you will ever try. They also feature homemade desserts.
The heart of the menu consists of seafood selections, and the ones we had were outstanding. The signature dish features fillet of red snapper – buttered, wrapped in corn tortillas, topped with pasilla chile salsa and melted cheese. Of course it is served with rice and beans.
For those of you who opt for non-seafood entrees, selections include carnitas, carne asada, flautas, chile relleno, chile verde, Oaxacan tamale and assorted combination plates. Vegetarian choices are also available.
The Whole Enchilada is a four star restaurant and has been named Best Restaurant of Monterey County, Moss Landing, and Carmel ten times, by such sources as Adventures in Dining, Readers Choice, and Coast Weekly.
The Whole Enchilada restaurant is fifteen minutes south of Santa Cruz and fifteen minutes north of Monterey, located in the quaint fishing village of Moss Landing. The address is 7990 Highway 1, Moss Landing 95039.