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Restaurants & Bars

Chula Taberna - a decent neighbourhood spot

Dr. John | Dec 14, 201807:39 PM    

Tried it tonight, some 1.5 years after it opened. The atmosphere is casual and surprisingly not blaringly loud (compared to say, Grand Electric, where I am tempted to wear earplugs). We were seated on a high table with cheap and uncomfortable stools. Our table was far from clean and one menu was particularly sticky.

For drinks we sampled the Chipotle Pineapple Mescal Margarita, which smokey, spicy, and had lots of pineapple tang. The Guayaba y Pera featured prickly pear and guava, but was too sweet and needed more of the lemon juice. Better was the Pasion de Mexico, which included passionfruit, lemon, champagne, Galliano, and mezcal (which we subbed in for the tequila).

Klafouti must have guac, so we did and it was fine, if unremarkable. The chips appeared house-made and were decent. We then had 3 trios of tacos. Carnita featured tender pork shoulder, pineapple salsa, salsa verde, and crunch chicharron - but was a bit too salty. Better was the smoked beef brisket, with carrot, onion, corn, and cotija cheese. Best was the chicken tinga, with smoked queso, pickled cabbage, jalapeno, guac, pickled onion, and crema. The tortillas themselves were fine, but not distinctive. All tacos were a bit overladen, which some might find good value or a recipe for pouring juices all over your lap.

We ordered one large main - the lamb shank in mole negro. The lamb could have been cooked longer - we prefer ours completely fall apart and this one was tender, but required work to separate meat from bone and tendon. The mole negro sauce was rich in complexity. Too bad there wasn't more of it, because the accompanying Aztec rice desperately needed some flavour.

The chocolate tres leches creme brulee was a fun idea and not too sweet. We were far too full to also try the churros Sunday.

Total cost for the above, $170 with tax and tip. Overall, probably not worth a trip across town. But we'd go again, given that it is a short walk away.

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