Bite of the Palouse: La Casa Lopez’s Marg Night is yet another reason to go

That is, if the service, food and atmosphere weren’t reason enough



The shock of the night: the fries were delicious

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Tastebuds change, people mature, but La Casa Lopez stays one of the best places to get Mexican food on the Palouse.

There are a handful of good spots on the Palouse to satisfy your Mexican food craving; we even reviewed Nayarit recently. If you haven’t checked out Nayarit yet, I would certainly recommend it. But for now, we move on to the best spot for Mexican food on the Palouse: a restaurant that I will make the drive to Moscow at a moment’s notice.

I am talking about none other than La Casa Lopez.

Located in Moscow at 415 S Main St, it is hard to miss this restaurant with its large orange sign. While you do have to navigate the one-way streets of our Idaho neighbor, parking is usually plentiful in the parking lot behind the restaurant. You can even go through the back door, instead of walking all the way around to the front.

La Casa Lopez’s hours can be grouped into three sets, so stay with me. On Tuesday through Thursday, the restaurant is open from 3–8 p.m. Wednesday is the buy-one-get-one-free house margarita night.

On Friday and Saturday, La Casa Lopez is open from noon–9 p.m. Finally, it is closed on Sunday and Monday. If you want up-to-date hours or just need to check them, you can find them on their website.

Beyond the food, drinks and great service, La Casa Lopez has a very welcoming atmosphere. Initially funneled into the host stand, you are soon led throughout the restaurant to your table, passing groups with delicious-smelling food. There is a good mix of big and small tables, not to mention bar seating if you are in the mood.

I have gone with both a small group and a large party and have not had major difficulties getting a seat. My party this time decided to try out the BOGO Margaritas Night one Wednesday and were quickly shown to a table despite it being busy.

The service at La Casa Lopez can be defined in one word: consistent. I have never had a problem with the service, and the various stages of the meals (chips, appetizers, drinks, entrees) come out right when you want them so you can fully enjoy them.

If you are 21 or over, you need to go to BOGO Marg Night; the drinks were the bomb.

I am not much for margaritas; the taste of tequila is not my favorite and that tends to be the main feature of the drink. In the spirit of the night, I ordered two different syrup flavors: melon and kiwi, both blended. The rest of my group ordered a smattering of flavors, including strawberry and lime, though there are a ton of flavors if neither of those appeals to you.

The melon is a 9.5 out of 10; my only regret was trying to be adventurous and trying kiwi instead of just getting another melon marg. The mixture of alcohol taste and sugary syrup was perfect, complimenting the taste of my food with its flavor and coldness.

I had just finished sucking down the first margarita before my food came to the table: carne asada with a side of fries. Now, now, hold on. I know it is taboo to order fries, but strap yourself in for this.

Best restaurant fry I have ever eaten. At once crunchy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside, I was not expecting La Casa Lopez to have such a good french fry. The absence of a good sauce to go with them has them sitting at a 9, but they were absolutely delicious.


The meat itself was incredibly good, and I had to avoid just eating it on its own instead of going to my tortillas to add some rice and lettuce. Well-seasoned without being overpowering, the carne asada managed to stand up against the other great entries of the night at an 8.8 or a 9.

It was this great combination of food, service and a delicious melon marg that made the kiwi more disappointing than it should have been. I am sure someone would like the taste, but it is not for me; the syrup did not mix well with the tequila taste. It sat solidly at a 5 at most, though I may need to try it unblended to get the full picture.

La Casa Lopez holds onto the theme of consistency. Everything I have ordered from the menu has been a wonderful experience. Whether pork, chicken or beef, the menu does not disappoint, and I am more than eager to continue exploring it.

With all that being said, La Casa Lopez leans toward the more expensive side of food within the Palouse. One meal will not break the bank, but I am a little hesitant to make it a consistent spot. However, the serving sizes you receive are well worth the price and I have never left the restaurant without leftovers.

If you somehow still have not tried La Casa Lopez, put it at the top of your list. For those of legal drinking age, make sure to go on Wednesday for those margs. By the end of your visit, you will only be adding to the reasons to go back again.

If you know of some food spots that I have not tried yet that you are just dying to brag about to your friends, let me know by emailing [email protected].