Restaurants & Bars

Oakland - Dona Tomas – Chiles rellenos en Nogado

rworange | Dec 7, 200512:10 AM     2

I’ve been eating at too many small plates restaurants this year. Dona Tomas threw me off with complementary great chips and salsa, a full sized dinner with a big bowl of rice on the side and a plate of excellent warm tortillas.

This was a first time visit. The menu changes seasonally and I tried Dona Tomas’s version of Chiles en Nogado - roasted poblano chiles stuffed with yams, onions, garlic and cheese served with a traditional walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It was just as delicious as the original, a little healtier and a nice vegetarian take on this dish.

Chiles en nogado is a seasonal dish. Its origins date back to an 1821 banquet where all the dishes had the color of the Mexican Flag – red (pomegranate seeds), green (poblano peppers) and white (walnut sauce). In this dish the chiles are not battered. Here’s a link to the recipe of the original dish and the history behind the dish.


The complementary thick corn chips are sprinkled with shredded cheese and come with a salsa that is served warm. Very nice salsa that has roasted tomatoes and peppers, giving it a deep flavor, spiciness and smoke.

The warm tortillas are nice also. The rice is forgettable. I didn’t like my drink though, a Caipirinha that was way too sweet. Fonda’s key lime version of this drink remains the best in the Bay Area. However, the non-alcoholic hibiscus iced tea is delicious and much better than many jamaica aqua frescas I’ve tried.

Too full from dinner, I passed on a formal dessert and had the Mexican hot chocolate. This is not spicy and uses chocolate from Oaxaca. Served in a latte bowl it is a mild mixture of milk and chocolate with a thick foam that is pure comfort and deliciousness.

I was surprised the restaurant was bigger than expected. It truly had the feel of the nice restaurants in Mexico City’s upscale Zona Rosa. The main room has an open kitchen, white washed walls with a few Mexican pieces like masks, pots or wall hangings. The lights are dimmed and a candle glows at the entrance. There is a separate room with a a bar and more tables which is painted red. There’s a patio in back. The place buzzes when it fills up with the wood floors and wooden mission tables and chairs, only the high ceilings absorb some of the noise.

The website has some good pictures

Link: http://donatomas.com/page/nv94/Home_P...

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