Rotten Tomato: Frida Mexican Cuisine at the Americana


The Rotten Tomato is a distinguished award that goes to a particularly negative food experience. This award is not merely for a mediocre achievement in bad taste, but acknowledges an impressive mastery of yuck.

This month, the Rotten Tomato (which takes on a whole new meaning with the salmonella scare, doesn’t it?) goes to the new Americana at Brand branch of Frida Mexican Cuisine. That darn patio is just so inviting I couldn’t resist. Here are 10 reasons why you should:

1) The margarita had me chasing it with stale chips (not cuz of the booze).
2) Stale chips.
3) A greenish salsa that tasted just like an unripe avocado—which, if you’ve never had it, is a bit like sucking on a tangy sock.
4) The level of spice was perfection for my Gramma Sue—by which I mean there was no spice. I was smearing the $2.95 side tablespoon of habañero relish directly onto my tongue in hopes of getting any sort of kick. (By the way, smearing habañeros on your tongue is not recommended.)
5) There’s an enormous, beautiful bar, but we never saw any beverage menu. With all that space, there are no beers on tap, and I think a “frozen strawberry margarita” was the big sell that night.
6) I think I could recreate the tortilla soup with a can of Campbell’s Tomato and some Tapatillo sauce.
7) The wording on the menu bordered on insulting. Especially the part that explains “the many flavors of Mexican cuisine.” Um, we’re in Glendale. We get it.
8) The chicken breast under the slathering of chocolate sauce—I mean, mole—was like a little white brick. Though, to specify, I’m pretty sure it actually was chicken. Oh, did I mention it was 20 bucks? I’m not trying to be nitpicky here, but c’mon…
9) The bill for these two margaritas, a bowl of tortilla soup, and two entrees without tip: $90.
10) There are better spots for cheaper Mexican food about every 20 feet in L.A. If it’s not there now, one will drive up soon. I recommend waiting.