May 26, 2023 - Food and Drink

Sneak peek: A first look inside the reopening Casa Bonita

The lagoon inside Casa Bonita.

The lagoon inside Casa Bonita. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita

The much-anticipated reopening of Casa Bonita is happening soon — but it won't be easy to score a table at the legendary restaurant and entertainment venue.

What to know: Casa Bonita will start its soft opening with limited dinner hours and select its guests from fans who subscribe to its email list, the restaurant announced Friday. (See photos below.)

Be smart: To get on the Lakewood restaurant's reservation list, visit CasaBonitaDenver.com.

  • Ticketing and pricing details are forthcoming.

Quick take: Axios Denver scored a sneak peak inside the restaurant and had our mind blown by the sheer size of the space. It's a world unto itself. If Meow Wolf and Mexico had a baby, it would look a lot like this.

  • One of the most monumental improvements to the restaurant was building out a "real" kitchen, where patrons can watch tortillas be made by hand. Before the renovation, the food was made with steamers and a heat lamp "if you're lucky," staff told us.
  • The cliff divers are also seriously impressive. We were wowed with plenty of daredevil-y stunts, like synchronized swan dives and double backflips into what appeared to be a pristine pool.

Yes, but: Plenty of mysteries remain. On the 10-minute tour, we weren't allowed to ask questions or told when the restaurant is opening to the public. We were also able to try only the sopapillas — which, to be honest, were pretty forgettable — so it's still unclear if the food is any better than it used to be.

Of note: The menu (see below) crafted by the renowned chef Dana Rodriguez includes just eight items — but it's a huge upgrade from the restaurant where she once applied to work in an entry-level job in the late 90s.

  • The food includes enchiladas (green or red, or Christmas), carnitas, camarones with adobo sauce, Casa Bonita mole with roasted chicken, and pasilla peppers. Chips and salsa are included.

Take a look inside:

Photo courtesy of Casa Bonita
Black Bart's Cave. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita
Casa Bonita menu
Casa Bonita menu. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita
A taco salad. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita
Christmas enchiladas. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita
A trio of colorful cocktails. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Bonita
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