Restaurants & Bars

California

[SAC] Centro Cocina

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Restaurants & Bars 7

[SAC] Centro Cocina

Nick | Jul 19, 2004 07:51 PM

I made it there for a late lunch about two weeks ago. It's a nice little restaurant with an open, chic interior and exterior. They have an outdoor seating area, too. (See link for pics)

It's a decent menu. Here it is directly: http://www.paragarys.com/pdf/menus/Ce...

There is a good mix from several regions with many basics, such as tortilla soup, guacamole (served in the molcajete), sopes, mojo de ajo, cochinita pibil, pozole, misc tacos, etc. The prices are good, too, for regional Mexican. Few items, if any, go above $15, which makes it only slightly more expensive than your average Mexican-American restaurant. That makes their prices better than Oakland's Dona Tomas. I like how they suggest the region in parentheses, too.

I ordered the chalupas for an appetizer (3 to an order). (See link for pic.) Quite tasty. The crispy shredded pork was tasty and the salsa had a nice intensity. The masa had a nice lightness to it and good flavor. Maybe a little more like sopes in shape than chalupas, but good.

For my entree, I ordered the cochinita pibil, something I've had enough to know a good one from a bad one. (See link for pic.) It was a large portion of pork with nice, fresh tortillas, and decent white rice, served on banana leaves. It was topped by pickled onions and its jus covered the bottom of the plate. It was tender and had nice flavor, with a noticeable citrus accent. It could have been more moist inside, but it wasn't dry.

I didn't get dessert. I was stuffed.

It's in a nice little section of downtown Sacramento. It must be a wealthy, yuppie neighborhood because everyone there was way too good looking for me. The hostess and bar server looked like models. The women walking through the door were pretty enough, but hell, they guys were almost pretty enough to kiss.

Anyway, it may be a chain, but it's a good one. My only real complaint was all the burritos being ordered. I'd prefer a place like that not to even have them on the menu and I think it's sad how most people order only the familiar. They're really missing out. I'd put it in a similar league to Dona Tomas in Oakland, Taqueria Nueve or Nuestra Cocina here in Portland, Frontera Grill in Chicago, or various other mid-level authentic Mexican restaurants in the US and Mexico. It's not what Cafe Azul was, and it's not Topolobampo, but it's pretty good and a good value.

Link: http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?s...

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