Food

Review of C Casa Restaurant

C Casa is an innovative and delicious Mexican cuisine restaurant at City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon. The restaurant was one of the earlier places to launch at City Center, and it’s still one of my favorite places to eat in San Ramon.

C Casa itself is relatively small. The restaurant itself has a few indoor tables that are great for rainy days, as well as a counter where you order food, a small but well-stocked tequila bar, and a dedicated and highly visible griddle where C Casa makes tortillas for their tacos and other Mexican fare. Behind the counter is a full kitchen where the restaurant prepares its dishes.

The Menu

C Casa’s menu is built around fancy tacos. The restaurant is known for unique taco offerings, including duck tacos, buffalo tacos, and tacos made with Dungeness crab. Their duck tacos are one of my favorite things on the restaurant’s menu. They feature slices of duck with a chili-inspired but non-spicy rub, paired with pieces of sliced orange and a cooling, delicious lime cilantro vinaigrette. Additions like goat cheese and Fresno chilis make clear that these aren’t your standard food truck tacos.

Another difference is that unlike many of the street-style tacos on offer around the Bay Area, C Casa’s tacos are massive. If you order a duck taco, you’ll get one big tortilla loaded up with meat, sauce, greens, and more. Yes, you’ll pay over $12 for it.  But a single taco here is a lot of food. To eat one effectively I find that I have to first eat about half the toppings with a fork before I can even close the taco. C Casa seems to have caught onto this style as they now include a sign on the wall instructing diners to do just that.

In addition to their duck tacos, I like C Casa’s rotisserie chicken tacos and carnitas tacos. Each taco is served with its own unique pairings and toppings. The rotisserie chicken tacos come with such things as sliced avocado and fleur de sel sea salt from France. The tacos are so big that you’ll probably only want one. That’s great if you’re craving duck or buffalo, but can be a letdown if you’d prefer to try several things instead of going all-in on a particular style. If you’re looking for basic, street-style tacos, you won’t find those here either—C Casa’s food is unique and takes a different approach to Mexican standards than many other Bay Area places.

C Casa’s nachos

Believe it or not, C Case’s menu today is actually a bit pared down from what the restaurant offered pre-pandemic. Before the pandemic, their menu was even fancier and more exotic. Like many restaurants, though, they appear to have pivoted to foods that are easier to make as takeout and use a narrower range of ingredients at slightly less exorbitant prices. I actually like their new menu better. It’s not cheap, but the quality is great and I like the complexity and uniqueness of C Casa’s flavors.

As well as tacos, C Casa has tasty nachos, quesadillas and other Mexican staples like enchiladas. The restaurant has a real rotisserie (as the rotisserie chicken tacos would imply) and they’re proud of it. You can get several meals that feature simple rotisserie chicken prepared with different seasonings.

Everything is fresh, from the meats and veggies to those tortillas, which C Casa makes in front of you while you wait to order. They also fry the tortillas up, making tasty housemade tortilla chips that you can buy by the bag. Pair them with a small side of guacamole (the large guacamole is too pricey and comes topped with other stuff) as a great accompaniment to your meal. C Casa has beers and tequila on offer. Their soft drink offerings are limited, but you can get a massive 500ml Mexican coke to wash down your meal.

Pro tip: C Casa makes great kids’ meals that feature things like quesadillas, rice and beans, and even a little triangle of a tasty Mexican chocolate brownie.

The Setting

Again, C Casa’s interior is small, and it’s a counter-service restaurant, so you’ll need to wait in line to place your order. Still, the restaurant spills out of its front door into a lovely outdoor dining area with large, comfy couches arranged into squares, colorful umbrellas, and fire pits. It’s a lively and relaxed place to eat outdoors, even well into the evening. The location adjacent to Fieldwork Brewing adds to the outdoor ambiance, and C Casa and Fieldwork even joined forces to offer beer and tacos together during the pandemic.

Outdoor dining area at C Casa

The outdoor dining area at C Casa is one of the nicest things about the restaurant. It feels like a casual outdoor oasis where you can relax with friends and enjoy a beer or margarita, munch on tacos, and escape some of the bustle of City Center. The dining area doesn’t work on rainy or smoky days, of course, but otherwise it’s a very pleasant place to sit and enjoy a meal.

Visiting C Casa

I’ve been to the San Ramon location of C Casa at least 10 times, but they also have locations in Napa and Emeryville. I suggest heading to the City Center location (park in the large interior lot) on a warm, Summer evening, grabbing a taco, some chips and guacamole, and a beer or Coke and enjoying the outdoor location, and some unique and delightful food.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times.

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