Prior to attending the magnificent Hunan Tasting on the evening of May 31, three of us enjoyed a (hopefully) light meal at El Matador on Shaw Avenue. Smack dab in a pod mall, this little gem offered two great dishes: the Albondigas Soup (8.95/5.95 or cup) and the Camarones a la Diabla (12.95).
The Albondiga's simplicity was what made it so memorable. Its rich, beefy broth with just a few fresh snippets of cilantro floating on the top was outstanding. The medium-sized meatballs had hints of onions immersed in the pork/beef. Nothing else, and nothing else needed other than a squirt or two of lime.
The Camerones a la Diabla were likewise quite good. Quite a kick, but quite good. The chiles that formed the base of the sauce had been roasted to bring out the depth of their flavor. The shrimp themselves were fresh and sweet and crunchy. Served with rice and beans and tortillas, a hefty meal. Perhaps too heavy given the dinner we enjoyed that evening.
We also ordered a carnitas sope -- the meat was great -- crispy outside and tender inside, with hints with orange in the background.
The chips were just o'k. Not homemade, for sure. However, the two salsas served with the chips were great: a roasted perhaps guajillo chile salsa and a salsa fresca.