Posted last week if any had been to El Manantial in Bird Rock, and it seemed no one had. Well it turns the place was closed and bought and is now Delirio's (late '06). When we walked up we saw the sign that said Mexican Fusion, and thought twice about heading in. The head waiter came out, as we were contemplating leaving and talk us into heading in. The decor of the restaurant is nice with white linens and very nice lighting, nice local art on the walls, and top notch facilities (read restrooms). Although the wine list was touted as being great, did not find anything interesting by the bottle, went with the a glass of Chianti start and a couple glasses of Bordeaux with our meal, both were adequate and were typical of the varietals. We started off with Apps, a tuna tartar which was reminiscent of a Poke, with fresh avocado and tuna, topped with crispy fried chives and some fresh cilantro, also included was smoked oysters that at first struck the palette as odd, but ended up working and giving a nice kind of smoky note, kind of reminded me of a poke that that was hit with a little too much sesame oil, this was a good instance where fusion worked well. Next up was a shredded duck tostada, with chili, lime and beer, not quite as successful as the tartar, but enjoyable and paired well with the Bordeaux. The entree was next up, we had the beef filet with chipotle brie sauce and mashed potatoes. Sauce was well executed well as far a texture, but could have had a more pronounced brie or chipotle flavor, tasted like a well seasoned cheese sauce. Entree was split for us with no added charge and presented on separate plates, asparagus was also on the plate and the size of a wiffle ball bat, unpeeled and woody. We decided not to order desert, but the waiter brought us three giant fluffy churro's which were some of the best I've ever had, served with 3 sauces Bailey’s, Coco, and a Mocha blend. Complementary hot chocolate was also served, which was well spiced. All in all a pleasant experience, service was excellent. They also had a large selection of beers (some nice Belgium’s on the list) and the waiter knew his beer. On a side note, I was told that the chef is leaving in about a month, and expect menu and wine changes in the near future. Staff is composed a few old Jack's LJ staff, head waiter and manager. Have a look at the menu on the web site, a little too much sweet/savory thing going on for my palate, but if you’re into that I say give them a try.
On a side note, speaking of Mexican fusion there is a good article on Mexi-Med cuisine in this months Gourmet magazine, it has nice write up of a board favorite Laja, as a few new restaurants in the border area.