R: Opened July 2018, this vegan-friendly pub located on the corner of 6th Street and Hope, was zinging with spirited chatter and clinking glasses. It looked like THE place to be for good pub food and a refreshing beverage. A bevvy of outdoor tables wrapped around both the 6th and Hope sides of the pub and were filled with happy diners eating and sipping the Cantina's innovative offerings.
Z: We were lucky to find an empty table--there were few on this busy Wednesday night when we came in for dinner and brew with our friend, Chuck. We were seated quickly and Ann, our friendly server, quickly brought us menus and complimentary chips with a bowl of tasty green salsa.
R: Tall tables line the windows along both the corners and sport an appealing wooden top, thick butcher-block style, and wrought iron stools strung with colorful plastic webbing. The room was bright and cheery, thanks to light streaming in from the large windows. Opposite the windows is a long bar filled with people enjoying the munchies and a host of innovative beverages chosen from a list of craft beers, creative margaritas, and specialty tequilas called Palomas.
Z: Before the Corner Cantina opened, the 6th Street Tavern occupied this spot. The walls are covered with a combination of appealing rustic wood on some and painted white brick on others. The new owners have kept this tasteful décor along with the old wooden floors that likely have fascinating stories to tell.
R: The menu is designed with a Cal-Mex flavor and is super vegan-friendly, where even items that are not labeled with a V can usually be made vegan. We began by sharing the giant DT Quesadilla generously filled with Impossible meat, cheese, roasted chiles, and crema and garnished with sliced radishes and a wedge of fresh lime.
Z: The grilled Impossible meat added such uniquely rich flavor to this traditional starter. We loved it. It's a keeper on our list and makes a zesty appetizer choice! We were tempted by the Taquitos and the Chips and Queso on the Snack menu, which we'll definitely try next time. We noted portions are generous and decided to share the Kale Salad and the vegan Griddled Burrito. Chuck ordered the The Unreal Chile Burger and chose the Fries rather than the Salad.
R: The beers arrived--ours the shared Nitro Peanut Butter Stout Sin Jay by Mother Earth, Chuck's the Kook-Pizza Port Double IPA. We truly appreciated the wide selection of beers so we could enjoy the stout we love so much and Chuck could find his special nirvana with the IPA.
Z: Because we decided we would all share the food, we set the burrito aside for the moment and focused on the Kale Salad made with Tuscan kale rather than the familiar curly variety. Add-ins included bits of jicama, cucumber, avocado, chili-roasted pepitas, and large slices of fresh apple. The chef tossed the salad with a delicious, savory lime vinaigrette that perfectly complemented the sweet touches of jicama and apple.
Z: We've enjoyed Impossible Burgers before, but this one had a distinctly south-of-the-border flavor with the added touch of jalapeno and Fresno chiles. Every bite of our burger was indulgently delicious and gets our thumbs up rating.
R: By the time we finished our quesadilla, kale salad, and chile burger, we were unable to dig into the burrito. We took one half home and gave Chuck the other half to enjoy the next day. We did save room for a tiny bit of dessert and ordered one portion of Van Leeuwen Vanilla Ice Cream with three spoons. We didn't expect anything extraordinary--it was just a scoop of vanilla, we thought.
Z: But vanilla ice cream never tasted this wonderful before. A little magic must have happened in Chef Trevor Faris's kitchen that made a simple scoop of vanilla taste like a rich caramel delight. A hearty sprinkle of cinnamon covered the top of the ice cream that was perched on a bed of thinly-slivered tortilla chips fried with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It was a simple, finishing touch, yet added a festive Mexican flair to conclude our cantina experience with sweet memories.
R: Corner Cantina has an ideal location in the heart of DTLA where lots of walking traffic give this spot plenty of visibility. It was mid-week and the place was packed and lively when we came, making it easy to predict Angelenos know a good thing when they see it!!!!
Reviewed August 2018