A well-balanced, chopped fresh style of table salsa gets top marks at Gonzaba's.
Here's the short take on Gonzaba's Mexican Restaurant, at the end of a shopping strip at 6700 San Pedro Ave.: If you need to have a meeting at a central location, where the staff is friendly and will set you up in a semi-private room (do call ahead), Gonzaba's can do it.
After that, consider that the nachos are cheesy, the chips crisp and the salsa terrific: it's the medium-hot, finely ground, fresh style that I particularly like.
We were there for a business lunch earlier this week. For the occasion, the restaurant set us up in a separate room with a linen-dressed table for 12, a big bouquet of crepe paper flowers in the center and chips and salsa at every other place setting.
Two of us arrived 20 minutes early and ordered nachos to hold us over until the others arrived. The plate was hot and a bowl of jalapeños in the middle of the chips and melting cheese came along without us having to ask.
The meeting required a lot of discussion, so business required more attention than food that day. So, we appreciated the unobtrusive servers, who brought us drinks, sliced lemons, extra chips, more napkins and our meals without much fuss at all.
Guacamole chalupas and big bowls of tortilla soup were pre-ordered, which also cut down on the time factor (here's a hint for those having business lunches on time, as well as a money, budget.) Everything was good. I won't put it in the outstanding category, as I like a guacamole with some seasoning, but we can say that about the way nine out of 10 Mexican restaurants in town prepare the avocados.
The big, big bowls of soup, packed with thin, crisp tortilla strips, diced avocado, cheese and chicken, were hearty and pretty much took care of appetites around the table. My only criticisms were that the broth needed a little more flavor (a stauncher broth, a little salt?) and the chicken was overcooked. Would I order it again? Yes, I think so, considering how good and filling it was. Also, I wouldn't hesitate to take a group to Gonzaba's.
Gonzaba's Mexican Restaurant
6700 San Pedro Ave.
Photos by Bonnie Walker