Casa Bonita was the strangest dining experience I have ever had. I never would have gone there if it wasn’t for the South Park episode where Cartman talks about how awesome it is with cliff divers and Black Bart’s Cave. I didn’t believe it was a real place, but it is.
The food is awful, it really is. If you‘re a vegetarian, just eat later, or fill up on chips and sopapillas. Upon entering the restaurant, you grab a menu and decide from about 10 options what you want to eat. The only vegetarian option is a bean burrito with a green chili sauce, which actually sounded pretty good. That’s what I ordered, but not what I actually got. You order and pay at the cashier and then continue through the Disney-style rope lines until you grab a tray. Then you get to the person who gives out the food.
We showed her our receipt but still got the wrong dishes, and we couldn’t actually tell from the receipt if we’d been rung up for the wrong stuff or if the food-giver screwed up. There was no time to complain, though, because the line just keeps moving. You grab a drink (alcohol is brought out once you’re seated) and get taken to a seat.
We were in a room that looked like a princess room. It was pretty enough, kind of like a carousal, but we couldn’t see the cliff divers at all, and some small child kept shoving his sticky hands in my purse. Since the food was so awful and mine had meat in it, we didn’t sit there too long. We didn’t go for the food anyway.
There are traveling mariachi bands, stage shows, cliff divers, Black Bart’s Cave, (whoever Black Bart is) an arcade, and all kinds of other stuff. We took a trip through Black Bart’s Cave, which was scary, because you don’t know when you’re going to trip over something. One of the stage shows with Chiquita the Angry Gorilla ran past us as we made our way to the arcade. We left a lot of money in the skeeball machines; that’s always fun.
My one disappointment was the fact that I only got to see one cliff diver, and he did more of a roll than a dive. They were hiring cliff divers I noticed on my way out, so maybe that had something to do with it. We did get there kind of late, which was nice because there were fewer screaming children, but the live entertainment was winding down.
Casa Bonita is just surreal. I would go again because the seating area is so huge. I think every time you go it’s going to be different. The food is really nothing to seek out (I’d rather eat Taco Bell), but the experience is unparalleled. If you are like me and seek out the truly strange, or if you have kids, you have to go to Casa Bonita.