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Restaurants & Bars

Mexico City Report February 2017

dtury | Feb 22, 201708:01 PM

My girlfriend and I just returned from Mexico City; following is a brief update on highlights and lowlights:

Restaurants (In order of preference)

Agua y Sal: meal of the trip. outstanding, fresh ceviches. One used a hard to find rayado (striped) chile pepper (smoked for three days) they import from puebla (i searched three mercados in DF and no vendors carried and a couple acknowledged it is not available at any vendor of which they were aware). The pepper added that smoked quality one gets from sushi that has been torched.

Tostados Coyoacan: crazy, frenetic experience in the eponymous market. Shrimp and octopus (separate tostados) were wonderful: fresh, appropriately cooked / tender and not rubbery / over-cooked. Cochinita Pibil and chicken also both solid though frankly i had trouble telling them apart (maybe they accidentally gave me two of the same).

Pasilla de Humo: for those considering going please note the oaxacan restaurant is on the second floor. The bottom floor, while also tastefully adorned contains different stalls of various international cuisine. Upstairs the oaxacan food was delicious: the names escape me but the tortilla quality was high, the black mole was a touch too sweet but still complex; duck was fresh and appropriately cooked (medium was appropriate to me in this context).

Rokai Ramen: surprisingly solid ramen experience (i typically don't enjoy ramen but my gf does and she's historically hard to please as it relates to dining). Dumplings were decent though far from memorable.

Rokai (the izakaya): next to ramen shop. Shrimp tempura generous and delicious (batter had the right consistency). Sashimi plate fresh and solid (mostly local i.e. pacific side).

El Morro Churros: I'm not into sweets but beautifully cooked and delicious. Chocolate sauce and condensed milk seemed mass produced but churros themselves were top notch.

Maximo Bistro: solid salad, sashimi appetizer and ceviche appetizer. Main courses of pork confit and pasta with braised pork were maybe slightly above average. Pasta noodles themselves were delicious, homemade, wafer thin, el dente; sauce did not hold up its end of the bargain.

Contramar: a bit of a disappointment after all of the praise it receives on CH. Tuna tostada was fine as was the octopus crudo. Grilled fish (kingfish i believe) was very well cooked and super fresh: we ordered it half with garlic parsley preparation (delish) and half with adobo seasoning (mediocre).

Azul Histrico: very touristy clientele but cool, quasi outdoor atrium garden space. Very good but not exceptional food. Gf had garlic shrimp which were well prepared; my mole was again too sweet; cochinita pibil panuchos solid.

Lowlights:

El Califa: recommended on CH and by our hotel but this fast food franchise joint was borderline grotesque. El pastor tacos were super salty (and we love salt), the tortillas were dripping with oil, the addition of cheese was a dense block of an off-white mass below the meat that tasted like nothing. Total pass on this one.

Sushi Kyo: relatively cheap by US omakase standards but generally a disappointment. Not a single highlight piece. All good and slightly better than the preponderance of mid-range sushi but not worth the hype nor the price tag (~$100US for the larger omakase).

Buna 42 coffee house was closed for construction as of February 2017

Other Notes:

Ubering in DF, while cheap, can be challenging--we had 5 drivers miss at least one major turn such that what was originally a 2-3min wait becomes 10min. We found taxis very serviceable, knowledgeable, and omnipresent.

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