This is a new Geno Bahena(sp?) restaurant. They say he's a mole master around town. The food is much alike to Tepatulco, another G.B. restaurant in Lincoln Park, dishes consist of a protein of choice over a daily rotating selection of mole/sauce. This location is BYOB, until a permit allows otherwise.
I entered this new establishment, north of Fullerton on Milwaukee Ave, with an open mind and a bottle of Malbec. It nice and open, bright - maybe too bright for some, and complimented with regional Oaxacan art. We were quickly seated amongst the diners filling twenty out of the forty or so tables. Aside from a group slamming crappy tequila, the atmosphere among the patrons was quiet, though it was a chilly Tuesday night.
We started off with a flavorful minced marlin seviche ($7.50) served on fried tortillas with roasted salsa verde. The mixture was quite lime-y but smoothed out with the addition of green olives. The salsa was pretty damn good though*- overall a plus, nothing too extraordinary. -* a side of salsa verde costs $3 , which I reluctantly turned down. b/c I was ready to start drinking it out of the bowl I would've had to order three sides of it.
We followed the appetizer with the daily mole ($20), Amarillo. The plating was what I expected - lots of mole, a fan of protein and a mound of rice. Our mole was accompanied by a duck breast. The rice and the duck were cooked perfectly. The mole was very aromatic and savory but I would have enjoyed it a little more spicy.
We also ordered Nopales (cactus paddles) con Mariscos ($21) in a creamy chipotle sauce. I am a man that loves his sauce and this stuff, along with a mound of perfectly cooked shrimp, squid, marlin and scallops, was phenomenal. It was plate licking good. (at the request of my dining partner, I opted out of licking the plate)
There were several great looking meals - ostrich, rack of lamb, Pato Adobado, stuffed chiles.... - that we hope to hear about on any future posts. Overall, I was a satisfied diner.
The service was excellent. In fact, we were in awe of one of the food runners that served a scorching hot plate to us out of his bare hand. I hope he's okay; I couldn't hold my hand over the thing! FYI - The corkage fee is $6.
It worth a visit, especially if you're in the neighborhood.