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West of Pecos -- looks like this is the first review [SF]

Joan Kureczka | Jul 1, 2012 09:40 AM

Decided to give this new place on Valencia a try as the menu looked interesting -- sort of a modern take on Tex-Mex with lots of small plates or larger ones suitable for sharing. I'd heard they were still going through some start-up pains, but all in all thought I'd readily return.

We had four dishes: the Queso and home-made chips, the rosemary chicken skewers, duck flautas and a pumpkin seed "caesar" salad. Plus two glasses of an Oregon pinot gris each, for a total of around $80. Not bad for a relatively upscale place.

The Queso was delicious and creamy, made from Monterey Jack, Cheddar, green chilis and just a bit of chorizo.

My favorite of the dishes we tried was the salad. While this wasn't a traditional caesar by any means, that was an excellent thing as the interplays of flavors in this were wonderful. The basis was good romaine, a bit of creamy garlic dressing, fresh Mexican cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. But then, to be added are desired was a fresh lime wedge, one side of which had been coated in coarsely ground chili -- which when added to the overall salad give it a brightness and just a bit of spiceiness. Then adding a sweeter note, there were a couple of roasted plum tomatos halves. I'd come back to the restaurant just to have this again, it was so good.

The chicken skewers were juicy, marinated thigh pieces strung onto a couple of rosemary twigs and grilled, four to a skewer. A very generous small plate and worth ordering.

The unfortunately loser were the duck flautas. The tortillas they were wrapped in and fried were too think and so quite hard, and the duck itself was dry, making the overall effect somewhat tasteless. This came with a nice bit of chopped salad, which was itself very good but not enough to redeem this dish.

There were a number of other things on the menu that sounded particularly good, including albodigas made with lamb and chorizo, and a whole fish fajitas with house made tortillas. There's a full bar, requisite tequila list and beers, as well as a number of interesting wines.

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