I must admit that I hadn't been to Max's in probably about a year. The other day, my daughter asked where we could get a good cheeseburger, so I suggested Max's. Right before we walked in I said to her, "I'm always trying to think of a great restaurant that has a variety of American fare, etc. and we never think of Max's. We really need to come here more often!" Then we walked in the door and saw that the main dining room was taped off and a big sign saying that a new concept, La Plancha, is opening up on February 6th. I was confused because the bar to the left was still open and appeared to still be operating as Max's. I thought that maybe they were going to have 2 concepts in 1 space: Max's on the left, La Plancha to the right. But sadly, thats not the case! Max's hasn't earned a profit in over 2 years, according to two staffers there. So, the same owners are hoping that this new Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar will appeal to Marin residents. I am not sure that we necessarily needed another Mexican restaurant, but I'll give it a shot. They compare it more to Guymas in Tiburon, rather than say, The Cantina in Mill Valley. I grabbed a copy of their menu and some of their selections look intriguing: Albondigas con Crema - Beef & Chorizo Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Chile en Nogada - Poblano Pepper stuffed with Ground Pork, Raisins, Pineapple, Onions, with Walnut Cream Sauce & Pomegranate Seeds, plus they have your standard Tacos, Burritos, Tamales (one with Lamb, Onion, Chile Verde, Achiote Crema! Different!), and a nice selection of Margaritas, Wine, & Cerveza (they have a bucket of Mini's! Haven't had that since I was in Ensenada as a 20 something!). I'm looking forward to sipping on a Campeon Top Shelf Margarita while nibbling on some Antojitos Mexican Street Snacks at La Plancha next month.
I really am going to miss Max's, though. Its too bad. Among some of the favorites that I will miss is their delicious Chopped Salad, the Potato Skins, the Sliders, and of course, their amazing Reuben Sandwich! Friends tell me that I should check out Millers East Coast Deli in the Montecito Shopping Center where Pasta Pomodoro used to be, next time I need a Matzo Ball fix!