Thanks to the folks at Popcorn, we were offered the opportunity to try La Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant brought to you by the brains behind La Taqueria. It is supposed to be the first Mexican restaurant that offers Mezcal, tequila and cocktails from different regions of Mexico.
With our menu tasting, we sampled a ceviche, two entrees, and a dessert. Of the ceviche options, we chose Aguachile (literally means “chili water”). Ceviche is usually quite acidic due to the use of fresh lime juice, so one might think green apple would just make this over the top sour. Surprisingly the hint of sweetness in green apple, along with the high water content in cucumber made this ceviche more refreshing. And the use of chili added some heat to the dish, which gave this an extra layer of flavours. I liked the combination of scallop and tuna in this dish but found them a bit fishy. The highlight for me was probably the house-made tortilla chips. They were fresh, crunchy, and had the right thickness so they wouldn’t break on you. I could just eat them alone, a lot of them. Great for snacking – they would go so well with the guacamole too.
The Tostadas De Pato used duck confit, which I didn’t think was commonly found in Mexican dishes. The tostadas were fried up nice and crispy. The shredded meat, mixed with the fruit mole sauce and guava, turned out a bit sweet, but the use of radish and chayote, as well as the cilantro crema at the bottom, cut through the sweetness and added some fresh, crunchy element. This could get messy though, because the tostadas might break, but that’s all part of the fun.
If you are a meat lover, you will like the Parillada. We usually eat beef short ribs the Asian way (e.g. Korean BBQ), but this Mexican take on grilled beef short ribs were equally impressive. Meat was well marinated, grilled nicely with char marks; Mr. devoured the plate and licked his fingers afterwards. The accompanying warm soft tortillas were also very good, which many of you would know from the soft tacos you get at La Taqueria. They had nice elasticity that were good for wrapping the meat, or just eating on their own. If you can’t handle the heat, do not eat the toreado peppers. The chorizo sausage alone could give you a satisfying burn on your tongue and lips.
Our meal had a sweet ending. This Mexican Flan was denser than what I’ve had in the past, almost a cakey texture, but I quite enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of creme caramel/flan, so the caramel sauce at the bottom just won my heart. I wanted to lick it all off the mason jar.
Of course, being at a mezcal bar we had to try some mezcal. Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from agaves; mezcal means “oven-cooked agave” and it does have a smoky flavour. We each got a flight of three 1oz mezcal, which came with sangrita (think virgin Caesar), fresh lime juice and orange slices with chili powder as chasers.
Mezcal is meant for sipping, so take your time with each of them, and experiment/sample it with the different chasers. They usually have three preset mezcal flights to choose from, especially suitable for those who are new to it, or you can order directly from the drinks menu.
While you can get the soft tacos here at La Mezcaleria, I think it has a lot more to offer. It allows you to experience more than just the typical tacos, burritos and enchiladas. I don’t usually eat Mexican food but I really enjoyed my dinner here, and I also liked its simplistic, unpretentious decor. This is a great addition to the Commercial Drive area.
1622 Commercial Drive, Vancouver