Our evening started on a bit of a sour note because I'd made reservations last night to sit on the patio and then a thunderstorm hit Tucson, so my friend and I needed to sit in the restaurant. So we needed to wait in the bar for about 20 minutes for a table to open up. That was OK...but then they wouldn't allow us to put our drinks on our dinner tab, and I had no cash with me, so my friend baled me out...on HER birthday! Seems silly to have to settle up a bar bill instead of just transferring it to the dinner bill. A minor glitch, but the bartender was kind of rude and didn't give the greatest first impression for us. Oh well.
We were given a cute little table by the window so we could peek out to the wet patio we were supposed to have been sitting at! As warned, the restaurant was dark and noisy, but the food! Oh wow. My friend and I were blown away by our meals. I knew the food was supposed to be unique, but I had no idea that there would be narry a taco or burrito in sight. Our waiter was really great, and I loved the chalkboard menu...I'm about to go to Paris so that was a fun reminder of how things are going to be there.
Even though the tasting platter was tempting, I really wanted to dive into their mole, as I'd heard it was the best. And it was. It was the richest, most flavorful mole I've ever eaten. The one problem was that the room was so dark and the mole sauce so dark, that it was hard to see what was on the plate...but there was chicken and tortilla and I believe queso fresco, and it was all just phenomenal. My friend had salmon with a mango and habanero sauce that was much milder than I expected it to be, which was good for my friend. I would have prefered a bit more habenero kick, but really, the flavor was just outstanding. The salmon cooked to perfection and the mango sauce not overpowering at all.
Our waiter graciously offered to bring us extra plates so we could share our meals. And since it was my friend's birthday, he gave us a flan on the house. We both loved the flan...it was really thick and rich and creamy, reminiscent of a light cheesecake almost. The sauce had a nice burnt edge to it...the whole thing was much like a twist on a creme brulee, without the crunchy bits. (Not that I have anything against the crunchy bits! Just trying to describe THIS dessert.)
All in all, I am so glad I finally went to this Tucson institution. I will definitely want to go back during the day when I can see the food!!