August 20

COA merges with Queen Anne's La Luna



UPDATE: Even more noteworthy for many Maple Leaf residents is that COA just informed us that they had a break-in overnight: Photos.

COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria has been tweeting about many changes at the year-old Maple Leaf restaurant at 7919 Roosevelt Way N.E., which recently hired a new head chef and revamped its menu.

Last month, owner Edgar Carreon announced a merger with Queen Anne’s La Luna that he tells us essentially makes the newer location “an extension of COA.”

According to an April post from our news partners at Queen Anne View, La Luna had also been only a year old when it sought a new beginning:

A reader stumbled across an ad on Craigslist, seeking a buyer for “everything… even the name and menu.” La Luna opened on April 15, 2011, in what was previously Flow Lounge.

Carreon tells us COA patrons are unlikely to be impacted by the change, but he has big plans for La Luna:

La Luna’s main challenge over the past year has been their story. What it represents and what exactly it intends to offer its customers. That will be the biggest change, they will find that La Luna will have an identity and it will show through color, tequila, fresh mexican inspired food intended to be paired with Tequila. It’s going to be like going to a “nice” / “sophisticated” restaurant in mexico with a take on “local”.

In other Twitter news, COA was also suggested by several readers of a Seattle Eater post as a contestant for chef Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” reality show. COA’s humble Twitter response:

@EaterSeattle as hard as it is to know, we would love any help we can get. We want to be successful. #kitchennightmares

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree with JS and Dawn on several counts:
    1. COA should not be expanding without first working a lot harder on their existing business.
    2. The food and drinks just aren’t good. And while they’re staff is friendly, service is spotty and slow.
    3. Margaritas at the Ale House are far superior. COA really needs to step it up if they’re going to succeed in one location, let alone two.

  2. I do not love the idea of trying to compete against Mezcaleria Oaxaca in a location that has housed a ton of failed businesses. Frankly, COA has been maddeningly inconsistent in my own experience (three visits, each six months apart) and I cannot expect success, much as I’d like for them to achieve it.

  3. And Maple Leaf has one of the better and more active blogs. I live in Meadowbrook where we have no blog so I get my news from here, LakeCityLive and the Wedgwood sister site to this one. Maple Leaf Life is by far the best. Informative and up to date.

  4. @Lisa:

    I agree about Casa Patron. Their food and drinks are great and I have always had great service there. The Pernil pork is awesome.

    I really wish COA the best of luck for them and for us in the neighborhood, but things aren’t looking good for the long-term right now. I miss the Loukoumades from Divine!

  5. Been to COA four times.
    First time they had just opened and didn’t have their liquor license. Food was pretty good, and we looked forward to going back.
    Second time we tried to go on a Sunday evening, but they were closed.
    Then we tried to go on a Saturday afternoon, but they were closed.
    Then we went on a Friday night. Drinks were fine, food was fine (although they wouldn’t let me get one chicken and one beef taco — had to get two of one or the other).
    And their tortilla chips are so hard and rough and tasteless, I only ate two. Which is probably a good thing for my butt.
    I prefer Casa Patron on 65th, and the ever-consistent Mr. Villa on LCW.

  6. I have been to COA once. The food was fantastic but the drinks were blah. The best margaritas I have had are at Mister Villa’s and the food while not as creative as COA is consistently good. I keep hoping that COA will hit its stride and get better but everything I read is so mixed.

  7. We also want to support local neighborhood restaurants. And after one, HORRIBLE expierence we don’t plan on returning. COA should realize that Seattle has a foodie culture and we put our dollars into those restaurants that meet that expectations. BTW I do agree the Roosevelt Ale House has spectacular mixed drinks and I would eat their “bar” food a hundred times before I would eat COA.

  8. I’m bummed that COA experienced a break-in–that really stinks, especially as a relatively new small business.

    We’ve been to COA a half-dozen times now (as recent as last week) because we *really* want to support a long-term business in that location. But the comments here are consistent with our experiences–terrible mixed drinks, ups and downs in the food dept, etc. That they’re now ‘expanding’ makes me increasingly skeptical that they’ll survive without making some course corrections. Expanding before getting the base operation dialed is the kiss of death for many businesses.

    So, please… COA… if you’re reading this, make the Maple Leaf location *great* before expanding, merging, etc. I think the Mex-Seattle concept is promising, but the execution is wildly inconsistent: some dishes are quite good one visit and mediocre the next (ex: the mole last time was *bad* and we have really enjoyed it in the past); the drinks have never been on par with the rest of Seattle. Kinda sad that Roosevelt Ale House margarita blows the doors off the same drink from a Mexican restaurant specializing in tequila…

  9. I’m going to agree with everyone else. I’ve usually had great customer service there, but the food is fairly mediocre and to expensive for what it is. We stopped going there after giving it 4 tries. I hope they take these criticisms to heart.

  10. We recently visited COA. Super friendly staff, we thought the food was excellent (chicken mole, tinga salad), service was poor, and the drinks were some of the worst we’ve ever had. So put visit was 50/50, which is not enough for us top go back. So sad.

  11. The food at COA is so bad someone should feel ashamed. If a little place like Taco Chukis (Capitol Hill) can create culinary magic, a place with the resources of a full sized restaurant should be capable of doing the same? Especially a place that advertizes it’s self a s “real” Mexican food! Stewed/braised beef isn’t Carne Asada.

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