Out of nowhere, someone seems to have snatched up at least half of the former Raphael space in Studio City, which came up for grabs in 2014 after an illustrious run, mostly by opening chef Adam Horton. What’s crazier still: ownership has transformed the place into a colorful Mexican street food stop and mezcaleria.
While not officially open yet, Cocina Condesa, the restaurant's facade has already been done up in bright yellows, blues, and reds, and the patio facing Ventura Boulevard looks ready to go. Inside, things feel much heavier, with thick wooden chairs and tables, and a long, boxy bar that’s stuffed with Mexican trinkets.
Strange, though, that there’s no ABC license under the Cocina Condesa name as of yet, and no word otherwise of an impending opening date — though people have definitely been working inside. Of course, these things take time, and it’s just as likely that management is still staffing up before figuring out when they’ll be unveiling their eatery to the public.
Tweets and Instagram posts began showing up only a few days ago, and not long ago Ventura Blvd. Magazine talked to purported general manager JP Vega, who noted that the menu was still under construction but would feature "Mexican street fare" influences, with a healthy twist. And on the very bright side, mixologist Gilbert Marquez will be handling the cocktail duties.
Again, no word on a official opening, but this spot looks just about fully baked. When it opens, expect dinner hours only, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with eventual lunch hours thrown in too.
11616 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA