I am often asked for recommendations for Mexican restaurants (since I am from Mexico!). Most of the times I have to excuse myself since the majority of restaurants are not really Mexican but an American version....
I went to Cocina Poblana in Emeryville since I heard it was "home style cooking". I was not disappointed. It will now be one of the few places I do recommend.
They have breakfast and lunch with completely different menus and cooks.
I had dinner.
Huarachitos. Nice thick tortilla, mild, excellent beans and chicken and tinga.
Taquitos poblanos. soft tortilla, SAME filling as above!
Raspaditas de tinga. Same filling as above.
Quesadillas. A bit soft for me but with wonderful cheese filling
Mole Elena. Black mole chicken. Also mild but great depth and complexity. Truly homemade. served with rice but no tortillas. Had to ask extra (I think it was our waiter who was new and forgot)
Carnitas. Probably one of the best in the bay area. Big chunks, well marinated and cooked to be soft. Ask for tortillas!
Platillo casero pork ribs. The ribs had very little meat. Well almost none. the green sauce could use some more bite and sour taste.
Chiles en nogada. Great sauce and the filling was almost like the best in Mexico City. Just a bit sweet but otherwise where else can you get them all year round? In Mexico we only serve in September...
The aguas were quite good, jamaica especially.
The hot chocolate is made with real abuelita.
Skip the cafe de olla...it has nothing to do with the real cinnamon sweetened drink in Mexico.
Desserts were a bit of a disappointment. The flan had an odd texture and taste like they added coffee or another flavoring. The tres leches was dry and way too much artificial whipped cream.
Overall one of the best places for mexican food! The owner was great and gave us extra rice when our waiter forgot one of the dishes we had ordered. Buen provecho!
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