Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.
Tasca’s been on my to-try list for many months now. As my birthday approached this year, I began dropping hints to my wife. Tasca was my first choice for a birthday dinner date. I had high expectations given the chef’s background and some early reviews. I’d say those expectations were half met.
Before Tasca this spot was home to another Latin restaurant called Sazon Grill. They didn’t last long but I recall they put a lot of money into decor. Sazon’s loss was Tasca’s gain as the place looks very similar. It’s classy inside and somewhat casual at the same time. They’ve expanded the bar yet at the time of this writing still don’t serve liquor. They make up for it with a decent beer and wine list.
I don’t often drink beer, but when I do, I prefer $2 import specials on a Saturday night. Indeed it’s true and it took me by surprise. But on a Saturday night they had imported beer from Guatemala on tap for two bucks. That’s hard to pass up. Their sangria is also refreshing and competitively priced. Stay thirsty my friends.
Tasca’s menu is almost evenly divided between tapas and entrees. I started with the scallop ceviche. It’s the perfect summertime appetizer. The scallops, tender and succulent, were swimming in a cool but spicy jalapeno sauce. A bit of roasted corn rounded it out. I’d order it again and again.
My wife tried the tortilla crusted mahi. They use red tortillas which make for a beautiful presentation. I found the fish to be a little too firm for my liking. My wife thought the roasted garlic in the sauce overpowered the entire dish.
My entree, seafood paella, fell flat. They use long grain rice, which isn’t terribly bad but isn’t something I’m accustomed to with this dish. It also lacked that layer of toasted rice that makes paella delectable. The shrimp, scallops and mussels were cooked properly as were the veggies. But in the end, this was just saffron rice cooked in fish stock.
Other Tasca reviews I’ve read mention the young wait staff. Our waiter was a teenager which set me back at first. But I found him to be prompt when necessary, surprisingly knowledgeable of the menu and even a bit funny.
Would I go back to Tasca? Probably so. There’s enough on the menu to hold my interest for a few more visits. If you hurry you can take advantage of a Scout Mob deal for Tasca that’s worth $20 off… or put another way, that’s ten Guatemalan beers!
Tasca Latin Bistro is located at 10970 State Bridge Road in Johns Creek.