Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts

Monday, May 14, 2012

China Poblana Noodles & Tacos by Jose Andres

I randomly stumbled upon this casual but buzzling concept restaurant, China Poblana at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas.  First thought, "Mexican and Chinese food?" followed by, "by Jose Andres???".  I was curious since I knew very little of the history and relationship between the two cultures.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Senor Pico: a fiesta in Bangkok

Who knew that authentic and delicious latin fare could be found on the second floor of Rembrandt hotel on Sukhumvit road? Being one of my family's favourite go-to places, Senor Pico is not just a wanna-be Latin restaurant in Bangkok, it prides itself as being the real thing.  And you know what? it really is! The ambience is traditional, vibrant, and welcoming.  Attentions are paid to the smallest details, even in the staff uniforms.


The menu offers popular latin dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.  There are also restaurant specialities such as Pico's latin grill, a selection of grilled chicken, pork loin, prime rib or tenderloin.

After you order, a basket of warm tostadas are served with a side of house-made spicy salsa and salsa verte which is more mild.  The chips are refillable.

It's not a fiesta unless there's upbeat latin music and some alcohol.  I was craving lime margarita, but also ordered a yummy cocktail, El Diablo.   My dad ordered his favourite, a shot of tequila, which comes with condiments; salt, lime, and tomato juice.

We started the meal off with beef taquitos, or cute mini tacos. The beef had a lot of flavours from the spices and seasoning.  To make more out of it, I took the lettuce and made it into a small taco salad.
This particular item is what I had been waiting for, chili con queso.  I don't know why I couldn't find any decent place in Canada that makes a good chili con queso.  I'm still upset for being tricked by Don Guacamole's version >:[

Senor Pico's chili con queso was delicious.  The cheese was a gooey, fondue-like texture which was great for dipping.  It certainly was a great satisfaction.  The only downer is, the candle doesn't keep the pot warm enough, so the cheese tends to harden too soon.

We ordered Senor Pico's specialty, espetada or grilled meat on a skewer.  We ordered the 20oz. Australian prime rib eye steak medium rare, which was tender and well-marinated through and through.  The steak was accompanied by a separate plate of garlic potatoes, zucchini, peppers and corn.

Every night, there is also a live band playing classic latin songs (the band members are from South America).  The dance floor, although often empty, is also available for anyone who feels like they want to salsa.  I was quite blown away when I saw a random patron and a waitress dancing salsa together and meshing so well together.  I asked her after if the restaurant also trained her to salsa.  She informed me that Senor Pico also holds a free salsa lesson every Friday night from 9 pm - 12 am.  Good to know!

They offer delicious and customizable tacos which you have total freedom to choose what kind of tortilla, toppings and tasty fillings like chicken, sea bass, steak, and scallop and chorizo.  My personal favourite was the sea bass.  

Senor Pico is yet another vibrant option in Bangkok's dining scene.  The atmosphere is lively and the food is awesome.  If you are craving for authentic latin fare, be sure to check Senor out.  

food: 4/5
price: $$$
ambience: 3/5
service: 4/5
value: 4/5

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don Guacamole's

As I had no interest in returning to Don Guacamole, I didn't even have an intention to write about this place until I kept being reminded, "People have the right to know about this place.  They must be warned..."
So, I will do my duty as a food blogger to document not only the good, the bad, but also the mediocre as well, even though at times it is really difficult to care about every single restaurant I've ever visited.  In the end, I'll let the readers be the judge.  So, here it goes...

One sunday evening, my sister and I set off to Don Guacamole on Robson for some Mexican cena.  As we arrived, there was also a steady flow of patrons coming in which was a good sign to us and we had high hopes for some authentic Mexican food.  It didn't take long for us to order; 4 tacos, chicken flautas, chile conqueso.  And we weren't even hungry :)

Tortilla chips and 3 kinds of salsas arrived the table while we wait for our meal to arrive.  The dark roasted chili dip had a sweet and strong smoky and spicy flavour, very similar to a thai roasted chili paste nam prik ta dang.  We both dig it.  The salsa verde had a lot of lime juice and cilantro in it.  I'm a fan of salsa verde in general so they didn't go wrong here.  Another bowl was house-made salsa which was lacking fresh herbs, it was refreshing and couldn't go wrong there either.  Perhaps, the chips and salsa were the best dish that evening.
Contrary to our beliefs that chili con queso is a creamy, spicy cheese sauce served with tortilla chips, which was how it was served to us in the past, Don Guacamole's chili con queso was straight up chili stuffed with cheese.  I was somewhat disappointed I didn't read the description better but still gave it a try.  It was a wrap of two large peppers grilled and softened with soft melted cheese stuffing, the topped with sour cream.  Wait a minute, isn't this chili relleno?? It didn't taste terrible, but it sure wasn't want I wanted and I probably wouldn't order it again.
Tacos shouldn't be too hard to miss right? We ordered 4 tacos with 2 beef tongue, 1 pork carnitas, and pulled pork.  The tacos arrived looking authentic, but after tasting, they were depressingly bland.  I had high hopes for beef tongue but all the tacos ended up tasting the same and I couldn't even tell them apart. C'mon, they could've at least thrown in a wedge of lime :( For the same price of $10, I would rather head over to La Taqueria where I can expect more flavours from delicious and authentic Mexican tacos.
The last, and most forgettable dish of the evening, chicken flautas were even more dry and boring than the previous dish.  I'm not trying to slam it or make it sound worse than what it was but the chicken inside was extremely dry and, once again, flavourless.  The only visible seasoning I saw on it was the black pepper.  The flautas were topped with a pile of iceberg lettuce, cubed cheese and signature guac.  Their guac tasted refreshing with a lot of lime flavour, but I wouldn't have paid $8 just for a bowl of it.  I wish they threw in more spices (other than black pepper) in the chicken and tomatoes, red peppers, or cilantro on top and maybe they won't taste like a bunch of cardboards.  In the end, I dressed it up with the salsas that we had, but it didn't make a huge difference.  The flautas alone tasted equivalent to something from 711, I'm not kidding.  My sister said she'd rather go to Taco Bell. 

In summary, I thought the dishes lacked flavours and failed to impress.  It would take a lot to convince me to come back again.

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