Cantina’s, Happy Hours, & Mexico

Cantina's, Happy Hours, & Mexico


Kay'n Dave's is a Mexican Cantina that will have you thinking you are in Mexico. They put a whole "lotta" pride in the pot, and will tell you that everything is "lardless regardless," and  there isn't any transfat. The sauces are vegetarian friendly and they only use skinless white meat chicken. In addition, all the soups, salsas and sauces are made fresh daily, and the beans are prepared without oil. All these things are important to many folks that eat out.

They have a successful catering department, along with restaurants in West LA, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and a new one on the way in Culver City.

I personally think they are helping the economy on Monday's with "mini" Margarita's priced at a dollar; and Tuesday is Tacos for $1, with seafood only $2. On Wednesday if you buy two Margaritas, Dave will buy the third. I wouldn't want to leave out Double Shot Thursday; when you buy 1-shot, Dave pours a Double!

On weekends breakfast is served from 8:30-3:00pm. It includes every kind of Mexican breakfast imaginable from $6.95 for Chorizo & Eggs, to all styles of omelets, along with pancakes & French toast priced from $5.50 to $9.95 for the most extravagant combinations. How about a chocolate chip pancake or Banana Pecan French Toast?

Sunday is a sad day for many, so the Cantina chose to have their "Happy Hour" from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, otherwise it's 4:00pm-7:00pm. And they didn't forget the kids! There are at least seven special items for them under $6, such as a grilled skinless and boneless chicken breast, with rice, beans, and tortilla's; but for another buck you can add soup or salad. Of course there's Taquito's, either chicken or beef with rice and beans for $4.95.

With all the above, the place is beautifully endowed with a small friendly bar, and intimate outside booths hidden in a lot of greenery. The main room is decorated with green and red chairs matched to black tables that especially look good over great large tile flooring. In addition there are wrought iron chandeliers reflecting on beautiful mirrors, and right smack in the middle there's a huge arty "Sky Light." It really makes a statement before dark. To top it all off, there's Mexican art in the form of masks, and each one is a masterpiece.

Specials for the month were authentic dishes from Oaxaca, typically found in the plaza markets and neighborhood restaurants where the locals go. It included two empanadas handmade from ground corn masa, filled with chicken in an Amarillo sauce, served with nopales, (fresh cactus). We also had "Asada en Molcajete," which consisted of grilled shrimp, chicken and steak in a guajillo sauce with pasilla chilis and Panela cheese, served with homemade corn tortillas, beans and rice. It was huge, served most beautifully in an extra heavy bowl. We went into shock when we saw the size of the portion!  I was interested in the fresh Salmon served over grilled spinach, sided with asparagus. The food was marvelous, as were their soups. I wouldn't want to leave our fabulous dessert out, because I don't think there was ever a time when I tasted a better chocolate, as was in the "Lava Cake." We fought over the last bite.

Of course there is also the usual Mexican dishes, such as fresh Guacamole, (made daily) with Taquitos, Quesadillas, and Fajita's, along with salads, Tostadas of every kind, and all the old favorites. Some are Chicken Mole Tacos, Enchiladas, Chicken Chipotle and Orange Tequila Chicken, along with Fajitas, lamb and steak. The Burritos are made with all kinds of meats, also steak. There are light lunch menus served until 4:00pm, and for those that can't skip a day without a Hamburger, they even accommodated the popular Turkey Burger. Vegetarians will also be happy here.  I enjoyed a terrific evening! Don't pass up the combination plates. That's when you get to design your own dish!

Locations: 10543 Pico Blvd, WLA; 310-446-8808; 262 26th  St. Santa Monica; 310-260-1355; 15246 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades; 310-459-8118.

Catering; 310-721-4900.

Most everything is under $10 and less, never over $15.