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“Way Foodie Friendly”
Review of Babita Restaurant

Babita Restaurant
Ranked #14 of 229 Restaurants in San Gabriel
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
So Calif
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Way Foodie Friendly”
Reviewed November 20, 2011

It's so small - only 10 tables, but has a nice atmosphere. Beer & wine, no liquor. I enjoyed the sangria, although I doubt it should have had all that ice in it. Fried banana appetizer: I'm thinking it was a lot of fuss for very little. The entrees were great, though. Lamb shank falling off the bone in a tasty beer-based sauce. Mahi mahi was one of the "specials": an amazing sauce. We also had sauteed salmon and cochinita pibil; also pronounced very good. Special touches; a bitty squash bowl filled with cheesy calabasitas with corn, and the half-and-half tortillas. I don't know how they did it but the freshly-made tortillas were half white corn and half blue corn, like black & white cookies. Hilarious and yummy. Even the salsa that came with the chips was different from any I've had, perhaps tomatillo-based but unique and just hot enough. As others note, the chef comes out to describe the night's offerings and specials. The results show food is his passion. It's pricey but worth a special occasion.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gal_XE_Questr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    10
    0
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Monterey Park, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous little restaurant!”
Reviewed May 16, 2010

My fiance' and his friends had been to Babita several times and they all loved the foods. So last night he decided to take me and other couples there after the movie, my first impression was "what is this place". The restuarant is very very small but it is charming. The old waitress speaks with heavy accent, so listen carefully when she tells you what is the special of the night. Roberto Barreleza/chef/owner did magic on the grouper which was the special for the night. The brown and purple sauces were to die for. He decorated the rim of the plate with small pieces of cooked sprouts, it was beautiful and special. I did not meet the chef last night but his creation told me that he is very talanted and he enjoys creatig beautiful and delicious foods for others to enjoy. But I will not return to Babita because of the service. The waitress(his wife) was not very professional,yes, I realize that it is family operated restuarant where husband cooks, wife serves and daughter greets the customers. I asked her about the appetizer we ordered 30 minutes ago,she told me that I was not the only one that chef is cooking for. I was stunned and could not beleive what I heard. Could it be her English? But her body language confirmed her words. Our girlfriend could not beleived what she heard so she asked " What DID she say?. I didn't want to ruin the night so I said " the chef is making it special for us." When the soup arrived, it looked beautiful. So I said " he did a good job". The waitress interrupted and said " what do you mean good job, he did wonderful job. At this point I wanted to walk out, the waitress seemed unstable. My girlfriend asked her if her husband was cooking tonight, she said" of course, every night, I work here every day". Before we left, we all said how wonderful the foods were and hat off to the chef. The waitress surprised us by saying " oh, he already has big ego........' I did not wait to hear her finish, I had enough. Too bad that the great chef works so hard to creat his materpiece all day but his creation is ruin by his waitress. So sorry.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank jessiedineout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Exceptional Meal”
Reviewed February 2, 2009

This is a terrific restaurant; the kind of food that one would be served at a top quality restaurant in Mexico City. You need to get your mindset away from tacos and burritos as this is a different cuisine at a different price point. The food was elegant, thoughtfully prepared and presented, and delicious. We were lucky to be able to try the chile en nogadas which is seasonal...truly a great dish - a pepper stuffed with fruits and nuts and drizzled with a goat cheese sauce highlighted with pomegranate seeds. Frankly, we were happy with everything we tried. The fried bananas were plated like a painting - almost too pretty to eat but eat them we did and they were delicious. My son had the gueritos rellanos appetizer which he thought was amazingly good and my wife had the ceviche which she also loved. The desserts were equally impressive and the wine list was fun, with Mexican wines listed which you just don't see elsewhere. The owner/chef truly loves his work and it shows.

Helpful?
1 Thank smerdlapgraslbinder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“excellent nuevo Mexican...”
Reviewed October 13, 2008

excellent nuevo Mexican and the owner always comes out to say hello, sometimes serving dishes himself.

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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“5 stars for the food. Knocked off a star for the prices.”
Reviewed September 5, 2008

5 stars for the food. Knocked off a star for the prices.

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