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Stopped by El Rincon de Moody's (next to Moody's The Backroom & Moody's Delicatessen), but it turned out that they were closed and last weekend's tacos & BBQ were essentially a soft opening just to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. From what I was told, they won't be opening again until Friday May 11th at the earliest.
So, frustrated in my search for great BBQ, I decided to settle for some seafood at the new Crudo Bar expansion to The Backroom. Although there are 5 or 6 bar seats at the Crudo Bar's counter, at 4:30PM that space looked lonely and deserted, so I sat with a few other early guests at the old Backroom bar (the kitchen opens at 5PM).
Although Moody's isn't the first place you might think of for cocktails, I am continually impressed by their short and constantly changing list of creations. I followed that up with a glass of white burgundy from their newly expanded list of white wines, and a couple of crudos all to myself (it's so nice not to have to share for once lol).
LA MUERTE CHIQUITA: Mezcal, Braulio, orange, honey ($12)
~Smokey, and quite bitter, but delicious. The 138 year-old recipe for Braulio amaro used to be a secret (the alpine herb pickers had to sign non-disclosure agreements!), but now that it is imported to the US, thanks to FDA regulations we know what is in it lol.
RAZOR CLAM: Escabeche ($11)
~This was not the mussels escabeche listed on the menu, so no one seemed to know what was in it. But this has to be one of the BEST dishes I've ever had at The Backroom (up there with the one time the meatballs were super spicy). Chewy spicy pickled razor clams, onions, garlic on sliced baguette, but I think the secret ingredient was some sort of bacon bits since it had a lovely smokey-umami flavor. #killer
YELLOW FIN TUNA: Miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions ($14)
~The thing about crudos is that the fish is often there just for texture, whereas the flavors all come from the other ingredients (if you want to taste fish, you should probably order sashimi). That was certainly the case for this dish, which made me feel a little guilty about the poor fish. For the same reason, I rarely put mignonette sauce on my oysters; yes, it tastes damn good, but I want to taste the oyster (tuna). Although tasty, maybe a fairly predictable dish, and this was almost a little over-powering on the Asian flavors.
WHITE BURGUNDY: Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Grand Cru Valmur ($25/glass)
~Note the high-end Zalto stem...not a great pairing with what I ordered, but I wanted to try this wine
As usual, they threw in complementary truffled corn campanelle chips and a few slices of a finocchiona (fennel) salami and pickled cauliflower...also nice not to share these for a change.
And yes, they do have a problem with people stealing the adorable piggy paper clips!