Saturday, September 2, 2017

La Costilla, Affordable Casual Dining with Delectable Taste

Do you feel like recognizing below pink wall? If you've just guessed it's LA, well sorry but I had to say that's too-mainstream thought guys as it indeed wasn't. I had too little time to go to LA at these particular days as I barely even had time for sleeping, let alone holiday (miserably said) LOL. Nonetheless, life's too short to mourn about what you didn't have, so let's be creative and think of what you can do to make the days more lively with what you owned. 

Cutting the story short, last weekend I went to Bandung for a short impromptu escape with my friends and yes, we paid a visit to this one of most hyped cafes in Bandung recently, LA COSTILLA! Beware of skipping it when you're about to find it, since it looked pretty tiny from the front side, kind of overcome by the gigantic Vermont sitting exactly next to it. However, having this clue already for now, I believed you could get to the place much easier now ;) 

Owned by the former chef of Tony Roma's,  Chef Joseph, the restaurant carried out the concept of affordable casual dining. As the name has clearly called out, most of the foods were very pocket-friendly, considering the satisfying portion and ingredients featured. They were generally international cuisines with some being the fusions of Western and Asian ones. 

Since it's not like a classic upper-class restaurant but more to a space for informal dining and meet-ups, the design perfectly gave that easy-going ambiance, making you felt like nothing but only relaxing! The most infamous back space was made semi open-space with dove ceiling and cement tiles, accompanied by a petite backyard next to it, which was actually that Instagenic PINK WALL! Yeah, looking at the picture, you might have already been able to tell how narrow the space was, so do expect long queue at peak hours for those 'happening snaps' on this spot. 

As predicted, majority of the guests were teenagers and young adults who might have high curiosity just like me, but also including those who simply craved for that OOTD pictures as in fact, it's not only that pink wall which could be the nice point for taking pictures. Some family groups were also there though at limited amount. Since it's absolutely not everyone could be accommodated at that most desired spots, some guests did have to sit at the indoor space, the one you met at first when you just entered the front door. Featuring blue and white theme, the venue reminded me of Panama in Canggu as well as the closer one to this cafe, Orofi at Dago. Perhaps they wanted to emphasize on the casualty, nothing from the interior went too much; everything's kept simple yet spoiling enough for the eyes. 

Still carrying that Tony Roma's characteristic, many of the dishes were meat-based ones, including steaks and ribs. They even offered options for the meat; if you wanted to go with the local ones or the imported. The price was definitely different for which the imported one was higher, but asking about which was more frequently ordered, the waitress said that they're more or less par, meaning that it's again back to preference ;)

Kiwi Ino (IDR 28k)

Trying to quench our thirst, we began the casual dining session with the house's handcrafted mocktails. I had no idea why this drink was named as Kiwi Ino, as it featured no Kiwi at all in it, but dragon fruit and apple instead. As you could clearly spot from the picture, the base was actually apple juice, complemented with dragon fruit chunks. If I recalled  correctly, I'd never met before dragon fruit being paired with apple, but surprisingly they turned out blending quite well and doubtlessly refreshing! Priced at this level, it was quite a great deal made there.

Te Azul (IDR 28k)

The second drink might be more commonly met mixture, combining tea with pineapple juice, lime juice, and blue curacao. Having tea and lime there, those two components basically neutralized the sweetness elements with their slightly bitter and sour flavors. Another refreshing beverage invented by La Costilla!

Sandwich de Credo Tirado (IDR 48k)

Moving on to the climax part, the ones that delivered higher level of satisfaction to the tummy and the palate, the foods. Starting with the lightest among all our orders, here's the sandwich with pulled pork as the main stuffing and further enriched by mesclun salad. 

The only complaint I might have with this dish was the particular smell of the meat itself which for me kind of distracting the overall taste. Putting that aside, the protein was actually nice in texture, being so tender, and I was also blown away by the delectable barbeque sauce as well as wasabi mayo mixed with the veggies. The rich seasoning was somehow balanced by the fresh flavors there, making the dish as a whole turned out pleasant. If they could improve the way the meat was initially processed, removing that smell, this would be nice-to-try one. 

Sizzling Rice Jalapeno (IDR 58k)

Where's that 'sizzle-sizzle' noise? Well, reading the description of the dish on the menu, I did expect it to come with that pops on the hotplate, yet unfortunately said I didn't see any. The plate was in fact still hot, but other than that, there's nothing much differentiating this sizzling plate with the normal one serving other dishes. I wasn't sure of the reason, but I wouldn't complain much as I was so tempted by the indulging smell it spread out to the surroundings. I guessed it's the jalapeno, mixed with oil and other seasonings, which altogether presented indulging scent and flavors. Having the fried rice mixed with pulled pork and crispy pork belly, which were served in generous portion, it's like finding happiness served on the plate. Nevertheless, you had to ensure you mixed all the ingredients well, or otherwise some parts might go quite bland while the other had stronger flavor. The idea of marrying pulled pork to crispy belly was genius as you got complete package of tender and crispy <3. Making it slightly more spicy, another thumb would be deserved.

Half-Slab Baby Back Ribs (IDR 88k)

Saving the best for the last, here it was, the most awaited part of the day, the climax to the dining session, Baby Back Ribs! Yeah I guessed you do expect me to share about this especially as in the beginning I mentioned that the chef was ex Tony Roma's. For sure there would be something missing if I didn't try this signature dish. I went for the half slab only as I'd been in the food rally with my friends even since early in the morning. We picked the local one, which was IDR 20k cheaper to the imported one. Being processed in slow-cooked process, the ribs were so juicy and tender that I was effortless when cutting them into pieces. Being the most wanted one, the dish did prove that it's the one to deliver the ultimate delicacy having each component served on the plate being well-seasoned and so flavorful. Despite that it's half-slab only, the huge size made it a fulfilling one, especially because the side dishes did feature carbo, serving potato croquette. Not to forget, the healthy element was also there on the plate, with the mixed salad sitting nicely besides the meat and the potato. I would call this last menu as the shining star and perfect ending that deserved the standing ovation before the curtain was closed and all performers went off the stage. 

I was generally satisfied with my dining session here, not only because it's affordable but also due to the prosperity it faultlessly nailed for my tummy. Final sayings, there's simply no reason for not giving it a try.

Taste: 7.5/10
Place: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Price: 7.5/10

Thanks for reading! :)

Address: Jl. Karangsari No. 8, Pasteur, Sukajadi, Bandung
Phone: (+62) 857 7217 9673
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun 10.30am - 10.30pm

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