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Las Cazuelas

Update: Las Cazuelas is closed.

In a word: Mexican delicacies and a show.

The specs: #0524  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Isthmus, A.V. ClubLas Cazuelas on Urbanspoon, TDPF, 77 Square, The CW (video); listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Facebook, Twitter.

Brett ate the chamorro with a spicy margarita.
JM ate the camarones al mojo de ajo with a lemonade.
Laura ate the pescado a la Veracruzana with a margarita.
Nichole ate the ceviche with a spicy margarita.
The bill was about $80, or $20/person, plus tip.
Nichole gave Las Cazuelas an A-; JM gave Las Cazuelas a B+; Brett gave Las Cazuelas a B; Laura gave Las Cazuelas a B- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Las Cazuelas news and reviews

Camarones al mojo de ajoLas Cazuelas marked the second location at which we've visited a third restaurant in the same space. This was odd, since #523 Kickshaw was the first of that phenomenon; after this they'll come fast and furious, as we start to catch up with the endless churn of Madison restaurants.

Las Cazuelas is dimly lit but brightly painted. A wall that used to divide the dining room in two seems to have been knocked out, sometime after Butler Cafe and Cafe Porta Alba but perhaps before Old Market Bistro (which was not open long enough for us to catch it). This makes for an airier feeling but really challenging acoustics when a mariachi band is thrown into the mix. At a couple points in the evening we caught ourselves shouting. Maybe it was the margaritas, which were refreshing and - when ordered spicy - piquant.

JM's shrimp in garlic, oregano, and lemon butter was flavorful  and filling, though, it seems it costs about $1 more than he wanted to pay. He quickly ran out of tortillas, which spoke to his relish for the dish and the dearth of ways in which to eat it.

ChamorroPescado a la VeracruzanaLaura's tilapia was very fresh-tasting and mild. The flavors weren't as bright as one would hope from a dish with fresh tomatoes, green olives, capers, and jalapenos.

The star of the table was unquestionably Brett's chamorro. The roasted pork shank was presented dramatically and the flavor lived up to the looks. The meat was tender, with a good balance of spices. The rice was somewhat heavy, and a close reading of the menu turned up references to "vegetarian rice" which implied lard in the standard rice. The meat and starch added up to a rather dense meal that could have used a side of fresh vegetables of some kind.

CevicheNichole's ceviche (technically an appetizer, but filling enough) was served up in a martini glass with more chips and Saltine crackers. The marinated tilapia was very meaty, with a good texture, and flavors that had melded well. The only iffy part was a slightly less-than-green lime wedge.

The menu at Las Cazuelas shows a lot of potential and is deep enough to sustain interest over more than one visit. Cuitlacoche tacos, chilled tostadas de salpicon, and roast chicken and lamb from the wood burning oven all called to us but will have to wait. Las Cazuelas also offers lunch combination plates for $7, which we hope makes for a winning plan for this star-crossed space on Butler Street.

Comments

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Yummy fajita salad... and good chips & salsa (very important). I'm not a big fan of their margaritas, though, especially not the spicy one. It tasted like lemonade that burned your throat.

They pour a mighty fine--and mighty tall--Michelada there.

My husband and I went over there tonight and there was a "closed" sign on the door (not good on a Friday night). The Isthmus entry reports that they've closed. Cripes - we had a Groupon for there, too!!!

catwoman -- I believe you should be able to get a refund from Groupon [one of the few ways Groupon is better than Google Offers.]

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