Adriana's Cocina Mexicana

Adrianna's Cocina Mexicana
1527 Amelia Street, Victoria, BC, tel 250.388.0800 Monday-Saturday: Lunch: 11 am-2 pm Dinner: 5-9 pm

I have one thing to say - FISH TACOS!!

I fancy myself a bit of a connoisseur of fish tacos and Adrianna's makes the most authentic ones I've had in a while and at least the best in this town.

What makes them great: they're simple. Battered fish (snapper in this case) fried and plopped on a tortilla with some fine-cut salsa and, in this case, greens (the least authentic part, but an acceptable modification). The fish was crispy and all the ingredients fresh: perfect!

I also had the special of the day Mole con Pollo ($12). Chicken and rice with mole sauce, served with a salad. I thought it needed a bit of salt and the flavour could have been generally a little stronger, but over all it was a nice and a fairly light dish.

My dining companions Kathryn and Tim (my dad), both had beef enchiladas ($14). Kathryn, who's notorious for being suspicious of Mexican restaurants in Canada, was pleased to see traditional shredded beef, rather than ground. She went for the piquant sauce and described it as good with the right amount of heat. My dad had the fiesta mole sauce, which he suggested could have used more heat, but he liked the chocolaty mole sauce.

I was delighted that the portioning on all the dishes was consistent and appropriate for lunch. In contrast to most Mexican dining experiences, I left satisfied, without any discomfort from over-eating. Similarly, the salads that accompanied all the main dishes were fresh, with a nice dressing and provided a refreshing contrast to the other heavier components of the meal.

The restaurant was fairly busy and the service was good and responsive to the table. The atmosphere is stereotypically Mexican, but more intimate than what you might have come to expect in Mexican restaurants. They also have an attractive patio that is sheltered from the wind.

The wine and beverage list is lacking in the wine department for my taste, but includes the requisite selection of cocktails and import beers. Again in contrast to many Mexican restaurants, they don't really push the booze.

Adrianna's is certainly the most elegant Mexican restaurant is town with regard to menu, ambiance and service.

An improvement I'd like to see -- chilli sauce on the table.  

reviewed April 5, 2006