OK, I’m torn. It’s pretty rare I rate a place average because I’m genuinely excited to eat out and willing to maybe overlook some stuff in my enthusiasm. But for me Mesa Loca was a mixed bag that averages out to so-so, enthusiasm aside. It’s located in Hyde Park in the former Cock ‘n’ Bull location, which I had no idea was so big until we were taken to a cold, tiled room in the way back where one other party sat. The pretty front room was nearly empty when we came in but the place did fill quickly so that may explain where we were seated. They did turn on the heat and the back room gained a bit more atmosphere as it filled. We started with the queso fundido with chorizo. It was tasty, if light, on the chorizo. It comes with three little flour tortillas - not enough to use up all the cheese and our very attentive server brought us chips to scoop up the rest. I had the premium margarita, which was great and generous and came with this smear of spicy stuff on the front of the glass, that I found myself licking before each sip. Not sure if it was just meant to be decorative but I figured I’d taste it. Did I look like a weirdo licking my glass? Probably. Our server explained that the menu features a selection of small plates meant for you to share. The crab stuffed peppers were really good but small — maybe two bites each — and overpriced at $14. They really should be on the appetizer menu. The sweet potato fries where great and the chorizo sliders were filling and just OK. They seemed a bit of an uninspired addition to the menu. The standout for us was the Mesa Cobb Salad. It’s a good size and really nicely presented. It features Romaine lettuce, avocado, tomato, corn, black beans, marinated grilled chicken and cotija cheese and a light and lively cilantro lime dressing. I’d definitely have it again if I ever find myself back at Mesa Loca.
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