Ooba's Mexican Grill
15802 NE 83rd Street
Redmond WA 98052
Can You Smell What's Cooking in the Kitchen?
By: Steve G
Ooba Tooba? When you hear the name it doesn't sound too appealing. Hearing that it's Tex-Mex doesn't really provide any clarity either. But if you pass on this place you'll be missing out on some of the best burritos and tacos that you'll find on the Eastside or greater King County in general. Hidden away in the concrete jungle of skyscrapers and office buildings in downtown Bellevue and Redmond, Ooba Tooba offers enough style and taste leaving competitors Taco Del Mar and Chipotle in its dust.
With lots of contrasting colors and a very simple, clean look, Oobas seems to scream out IKEA from every corner, but not in a bad way. The interior design choices seems out there with its decor and color scheme, but the brash elements seem to complement each other effectively, creating a very inviting look that is conducive to a casual experience. The Redmond location offers lots of seating as well as a couple TVs that usually showcase local sporting events, although you might also get treated to some classic Jerry Springer.
Those with an appetite for something meaty might want to aim for the Steak Burrito. Wrapped in a flour tortilla with beans, white rice, jack cheese and the restaurants own pico de gallo and chipotle sauce, the skirt steak was some of the most tender meat we've ever had. The best part of the burrito was the moment my tongue hit that homemade chipotle sauce, which opened the door to an explosion of flavor. Freshness is the key and Oobas delivers on that.
The Fish Cod Burrito was a classic a fish burrito by the numbers. Featuring some nicely fried fish and tender filling, the burrito had hints of spice while the fish had a crispy batter that wasn't annoyingly thick. The cabbage and salsa mix had a great tangy kick to it and the size was big enough to compare with places like Chipotle and Taco Del Mar. If you're a fan of fish burritos, or tacos for that matter, this is a good spot to check out.
Each of the plates comes with a side of freshly made tortilla chips, but we felt that's that only spot where Oobas came up short. It wasn't the quality of the chips per se, just the quantity. Both of us were clearly running out of chips half way through our burritos (they are big burritos) and with a fully stocked salsa bar (the salsa is made fresh daily), it made us really wish we had enough chips to have a go at all of the salsa.
Featuring sizeable portions with high quality of ingredients, Ooba Tooba stands out amongst the well-entrenched 800 pound gorillas in the Tex-Mex field. While Ooba Tooba can't boast hundreds of locations, they serve up some great food at decent prices, which made us converts to Ooba Tooba. If you give them a try, you might end up a fan, just like us.