In town on business last weekend, tired and hungry late on Saturday evening, we took a wrong turn on the way to our intended dinner location. Not sure how to get where we had intended to go, we spotted Cuchara at the corner of Fairview and Taft and made a quick decision to eat there.
This cute little restaurant describes itself as a Mexico City Bistro, and the menu has some eclectic offerings. When’s the last time you saw a dish featuring hibiscus flowers?
The trio of warm salsas served in little Le Creuset-style crocks was a highlight. The 5 chile with pork rinds was my favorite, spicy with a complex depth of flavor, and the Tía Martha (tomatillos and peanuts) was delicious and unusual. An appetizer of picaditas (corn cakes with refried black beans) was a nice start to the meal. The arugula salad with papaya and candied walnuts was delicious, with contrasting flavors and textures that worked beautifully together.
Entrees: The green mole with pork tenderloin was also unusual and very good. I didn’t taste the nopales dish, but my friend gave it a good review. It was served with a little straw burro perched on the plate. We named him Enrique and kept him to serve as our mascot for the remainder of the trip. Seriously. We took him everywhere.
For dessert, the flan was good but I kind of wished I had gotten the intriguing cuatro (or was it cinco?) leches cake. An order of ice cream yielded an entire pint, in the container. We got the impression that it isn’t usually served that way. Our very personable server, Jessica, cheerfully stored the leftover portion I the freezer for us until we were ready to leave. The manager was likewise very friendly, and we met the owner as well. They were all extremely nice people who are obviously enthusiastic about their food and proud of the place, as they should be.
I’m looking forward to going back to Cuchara next time I’m in town. I want to try the chicken tinga appetizer, the steak with huarache, and of course, the hibiscus tacos.