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Best Salsa At Luna Mexican Kitchen

Luna is a nice and casual Mexican eatery with an authentic Mexican Adobe feel located along The Alameda in downtown San Jose. It seemed to be a very popular spot when we went on a Friday evening, and had to wait for over a half hour around 6:45pm for a table for two. (The restaurant doesnt take any reservations). What first drew me to this restaurant was its varied selection of vegetarian options in the menu, many of which were a twist from the usual found at other Mexican establishments.

Parking behind the restaurant is limited, but ample spots can be found in the neighboring streets and along The Alameda. Although the indoor seating area looked cramped and small, the parking lot was converted into an outdoor seating area, with a number of heating lamps providing a cozy and warm ambiance.

This is one of the few Mexican restaurants which still serves chips and salsa on the house - something that many others have stopped after Covid. And they were the best chips and salsa we had eaten in a long, long time! The homemade tortilla chips were thick, fresh and crunchy. But what really stole our heart, er, stomach, was the piping HOT tomatillo salsa. On a cold, cold night, the salsa hit the spot with our very first bite and we knew there were better things to come. The complementary chips also came with a spicy green salsa.

We were enjoying this hot treat when our appetizers arrived - Tacos Dorados De Papa, which were three crispy taquitos with pureed potatoes, organic iceberg, crema, queso fresco, tomatillo salsa. Despite the toppings and the fillings, each taquito was crispy and crunchy with every mouthful.

Just as we wiped the plate clean, the entrees we had ordered arrived. The first one was Chile Relleno De Calabacitas - fire-roasted poblano chile, roasted corn, squash, chayote, melted jack, salsa ranchera, crema, cabbage, quinoa, epazote black beans, with handmade corn tortillas. We really liked their healthy take to this traditional dish with the addition of multi-colored quinoa, making the entire dish bursting with flavor and not overly cheesy. The green rice it came with tasted like cilantro-peas pulav.

Our second entree caught us by surprise. We had ordered the veggie Parrilladas (which is a a fancy word for fajita) - grilled cauliflower, carrot, squash, zucchini, sweet potato with a side of guacamole, salsa fresca, organic iceberg and chipotle cashew crema. Little did we know that it was meant for 2 people, instead of one. The serving was HUGE, and we could hardly do justice to the dish. We were slightly annoyed that our server didnt warn us that the entree was meant for 2. We ended up doggie-bagging most of it (which we relished at home, two days later).

Th huge servings didnt leave room for any dessert. Overall, the food, staff and flavors were great. I give this restaurant 4 Solara Stars out of 5, with one star subtracted because the waiter did not communicate the size of the Parrillada order to us and the absence of a reservation system for a downtown restaurant.


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