La Luna for Lunch

Since we were in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, it was a disappointment that Mezcaleria Oaxaca, sister restaurant of La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard, is closed on Sundays. We came across La Luna after we parked the car near the corner of Boston and Queen Anne Ave, which looked like some sort of local restaurant mecca.

La Luna also serves Mexican food. A few patrons were eating al fresco at tables facing Boston St. At around 3pm, the restaurant was not full of customers. Inside, the place had the appearance of being upscale with wood floors, black accents, slate blue and muted orange painted walls, even one wall covered in earth-toned tiles. A full-service bar was at the rear, flanked by a flat-screen monitor airing a post-game interview with Russell Wilson who was no doubt trying to explain the Seahawks’ first loss of the season to Baltimore.

victoria beer

To quench my thirst after our walk through Queen Anne, a pint of Victoria hit the spot. Nicely ice-cold, it was a typical Mexican beer of German style, smooth, sweet and very drinkable, with a squirt of lime.

chips and salsa

The nice thing about the complimentary chips and salsa was freshly made tortilla chips that were speckled with salt, just enough to give them nice seasoning and extra points over those we normally get at Mexican restaurants. The salsa itself was good, mild enough for my wife’s tastes.

De Molé con Pollo Enchiladas (☆☆☆) struck my fancy, since I’m always on the lookout for great molé sauce. After confirming that it was made in-house, ordering it was a no-brainer. Two enchiladas arrived on a platter that it shared with salad (an option instead of rice and beans), the meager stuffing of chicken giving them a flat (translated, skimpy) appearance and topped with mango salsa. The sauce was dark brown, chocolatey, thick with ground nuts, sweetened with dried fruits, and tasting intriguingly of clove and anise. But it was a more refined version, not as bold and spicy as other versions I’ve liked. Chicken breast pieces don’t complement molé very well, in my opinion, because their leanness and relative lack of flavor don’t stand up to it as thigh or drumstick meat does. The best chicken molés I’ve had in the past were made with chicken leg quarters, even turkey legs. The salad, dressed with a light hand, was a mixture of red- and green-leaf lettuce, avocado slices, chile-dusted walnuts and a soft, creamy feta-like cheese.

De molé con pollo
De molé con pollo

My wife’s Carnitas Tacos were quite good (☆☆☆½). The roasted pork pieces were flavorful and topped with a nice guacamolé acidulated with tomatillos. Her salad was served on a separate plate.

Carnitas tacos
Carnitas tacos

I got the impression that the kitchen here aims for refinement. Nothing was bold or overly spicy, in line with the sleeker, bourgeois decor. This isn’t a bad thing, just a shift in emphasis. Diners expecting typical Tex-Mex might be disappointed and consider the food bland.

Consistent with the upscale image, breakfast and brunch includes interesting items like chorizo benedicts with tomato hollandaise, carnitas benedicts with salsa verde, huevos rancheros, green chilaquiles with queso fresco, and breakfast burritos.

La Luna
2 Boston St
Seattle, WA 98109

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