I am a big fan of La Cholita. I think I rave about this tequila bar come tapas supplier to the people every time I drive or walk past it. So naturally it piqued interest in me when I heard that one of the team at La Cholita had set up their own shop around the corner called Casa Mexicana - El Compa.
After talking about it for a couple weeks, my colleagues and I decided to order some take away from here during the week for lunch to enjoy in the nice cool air of our office while whittling away at our significant workload.
The decor is a complete alternate reality to the funky and thoughtfully crafted version that inspired it. Think simple tables with brown paper tablecloths and white plastic chairs that are stained with what looks like stains of mud. It's definitely lacking though does seem to retain a somewhat authentic quality in its representation of a Mexican cantina. However that said, if I had eaten there I might have been put off slightly by it.
The staff are extremely friendly and helpful from the moment my colleague and I enter the building. They talk us through the menu and offer their further help should we need it. We even get the offer of a glass of water while we're waiting for our food.
For my lunch I choose the Esquitas ($8), which is corn that cut from the cob and combined with Mexican mayonnaise and a ricotta like cheese. Because I'm unsure of the serving size, I also get a Chorizo Quesadilla ($8) which is a folded over tortilla with cheese and chorizo.
When I get back to the office I realise quickly that two dishes were too many - I should have just ordered the one. However I make sure I eat as much as I can so as not to waste any food. Because of my love of corn, I start there with the esquitas and tuck in.
The first thing I notice is that the corn is extremely sweet and moorish. The mayonnaise and cheese combination is delicious and reminds me of the corn at El Publico though it's missing the delicious herbs that accompanied that one. However, my container seems to be filled with a clear liquid which I can only assume is water seeping from my corn. Perhaps the corn wasn't fresh but rather frozen? It's really off putting. Though it doesn't really interrupt the taste, I can't shake away my distraction from it.
When I've made my way about halfway through the corn I decide that's enough and divert my attention to the quesadilla. I'm hoping it's going to be great since my colleagues ordered the chicken counterpart and I can hear happy sighs and a distinct lack of talking which is a good sign for things to come.
The chorizo quesadilla is everything I could have hoped for, and better than the chicken which I'm told is nice but needs a sauce to balance it out. Due to the oiliness of the chorizo, mine is a perfect harmony of flavours and textures. It's simple and wonderful and I know that I'll be returning to El Compa just for this beauty.
All up I have to say while there were some negatives to my take away meal at El Compa, all up it was pretty enjoyable. It might lack the finesse of La Cholita but I think the flavours pack a punch and the price is reasonable.