You can't visit California and not have some solid, well-prepared Mexican food. It's not my favorite cuisine considering its foundational ingredients are spicy hot peppers in varying degrees of deadliness. That said, this glorious state offers such a wide set of options for this particular indulgence, you will inevitably find a few to suit your sensibilities.
Casa Escobar has the look you expect from an elegant yet relaxed Mexican restaurant. It's expansive, with chalk-white walls that contrast sharply with the rustic dark wood of the Spanish Colonial high-backed chairs. These chairs, however, are covered in hand-tooled leather of varied colors, and the tables are dressed in toasted yellow cloths. All this brightness tempers the severity of the furniture style, the wood-beamed ceiling and the Gothic chandeliers, and give the room a happy, welcoming air. The view of Malibu pier through the wide windows doesn't hurt. The bar is elegant and dark, but again, softened by sublime paintings of lilies and white birds in flight.
They start you out with a basket of warm corn chips and a trio of dipping sauces- tomatillo salsa verde, red salsa and enchilada sauce. The chips were so crispy fresh and flavorful, I didn't even investigate the sauces. I ordered a Vodka Mango Margarita and John a beer from the bar. I had forgotten how generous Mexican drinks are, and the colorful Hulk-sized glass that came to the table put a huge smile on my face that didn't fade for a long time.
We both ordered the house burrito, with chicken for me and beef for John. I asked for the whole wheat tortilla and no jalapeños or any other spicy substance knowing full well that this is an impossible expectation from Mexican fare. My burrito was stuffed in savory rice and beans, flavorful chicken strips, cheese and all the elements I was looking for, and then doused in a mixture of salsa and melted cheese. Yes, it was spicy, no way to get around that completely, but since I was expecting it, I asked for sour cream, which helps with the burn, and between that and my Mango fun drink, I was feeling no pain.
I try not to over-plan my vacations so I won't be disappointed when something doesn't happen exactly the way I expect, but a Mexican meal was on the non-negotiable list, and we couldn't have picked a better place. Friendly service, fresh authentic food, great drinks and a view of the Pacific Ocean. Andale!