By Tom Shess, Editor, PillartoPost.org--La Cocina is a take-out Mexican food restaurant located in rural Riverside County along State Highway 371 in the census tract known as Anza California (population 3,100). The small dining room accommodates travelers and locals but it’s not much to look at. The food, however, is terrific.
The large menu and quality of the kitchen is a pleasant oasis for tourists, who most likely are coming in over the rugged mountains from the Palm Springs/Palm Desert communities toward San Diego to the south or Temecula, a small town on the Riverside County border.
|Street tacos @ $1.50 each|
Also, we ordered two street tacos (carne asada steak chunks with onions, cilantro, and salsa) on open-faced three-inch diameter corn tortillas. At $1.50 each they won’t bust your dining budget.
The elderly diners at the table next to us ordered a classic Southern California staple: carne asada burritos. They were heading east toward Indio (just south of Palm Desert) while we were en route to San Diego. The CalTrans highway workers nearby were happy with ala carte tacos, burritos, and Mexican sodas.
|Anza's casino last winter|
Heading West in the early afternoon, we were now in search of an espresso.
Next time you’re driving the two-laners to Palm Springs from the coastal climes—make a stop at La Cocina. It’s a great way to avoid the Interstate congestion and have a tasty adventure to boot.