Holbox by Chichen Itza


#81

The ceviche ranked #3 of the four dishes. It was delicious, the uni was briney and buttery, and the portion was generous. But ranking #3 in such a great group is not a bad thing.

I can’t help but be impressed by the scallops and cocktel because of the sauces. If I had just the sauces, some bread and tequila, that would be my meal complete.


#82

Wow.
Can’t wait to go


#83

Big on our wish list was beer or wine. For us, that wish fulfilled would have made our meal perfect.


#84

i sampled them on the tortilla chips they provided.


#85

Yellowtail ceviche was super fresh and delicious . Not sure if the make the tostadas in house but they sure taste like it. Their assortment of salsas are ridiculous really loved the morita, guajillo, and kuz but all of them are outstanding. Did the bang bang with a lechon taco at chicken itza and menudo from the taco store next door from chicken itza. Great qpr will have to try more stuff next time


#86

I think I’m picking up a couple of their salsas next time. I really enjoyed them too. The problem is, as much as I enjoyed them, I didn’t really use them much early into the meal. I found all the dishes to be pretty much great the way they were. But I can see using those salsas at home.

The cashier said that he typically uses the salsas mainly on the tacos and tortas - I didn’t touch that part of the menu, but will do so next time.


#87

i can adopt her when I want McDs.

Sometimes i want Big Macs


#88

that’s where they get uni from ?


#89

I found the salsas to be complementary to the seafood. I would take one bite, as prepared, and then the a bit with dab of each of the salsas which all added a little heat, and then repeat the cycle over again.

It reminds me a lot of the seafood lady in ensenada who has gotten a ton of hype/love she always has a million salsas on her cart that go with pretty much every offering they have.


#90

That reminds me i did use the salsas on my torta and it was wonderful. Then again those salsas can make even lodge’s pizza palatable.


#91

Pizza was my first thought - not that one though.


#92

I doubt it


#93

We finally got a chance to try Holbox! :slight_smile:

The new food stall in the Mercado La Paloma food court, Holbox is the creation of Chef Gilberto Cetina (of Chichen Itza fame), which is just across the way.

Holbox (Mayan for “Black Hole”) specializes in Yucatecan and other regional Seafood specialties, and when you walk up to the counter to order, you see fresh Seafood on display.

In fact, just minutes after we ordered, Chef Cetina Jr. was breaking down a giant Opah! :open_mouth:

Pretty impressive. :slight_smile:

Each order comes with complementary Chips & Salsa. The Salsa was fantastic, deeply tart, lightly spicy and fragrant. The Chips were sadly stale though. :frowning::

Pata de Mula (Mexican Blood Clams, Onions Cilantro, Lime Juice & Chile Morita Sauce):

If you’ve never had Pata de Mula before, there’s a reason they are called “Blood Clams”: Stunning, natural crimson-colored liquid surrounds these Clams. They were potently oceanic, almost earthy but quite interesting. We’ve had Pata de Mula with some friends a few years ago at a local hole-in-the-wall that seemed brighter, but these were fine.

Opah & Uni Ceviche (Opah & Santa Barbara Uni, Onion, Cilantro, Tomato, Salsa Roja, Avocado) (S):

Compared to earlier menus, it seems Holbox is now offering their famous Ceviche in Small or Large orders. Small arrives on a Tostada (like what @PorkyBelly highlights), but a Large order arrives on an elongated plate, with 2 Tostadas on the side for self-serve.

First, it looks like they’re back up to 5 Uni per Small Order. :slight_smile: It looked gorgeous.

Sadly, the curse of Variable Uni strikes again: The Uni was really funky, overly briny (like bad seawater), and just old. :cry: Last week’s visit to Miyabi Uni, with their servers telling us their supply of Santa Barbara Uni was not viable that week may have been a foreshadowing of what happened here. :frowning:

The actual Opah Ceviche was very fresh and tart. It was easily leagues ahead of the awful, muted Ceviche we had Verlaine (a supposed elevated alta cocina restaurant).

If the Uni was fresh, I could imagine this would be incredible. :frowning: But I think here on this board, we’ve all experienced the tragic ups and downs of Uni this past year. But I’ll be back to try it again. :slight_smile:

Coctel Mixto (Shrimp, Octopus, Oyster, Avocado, Housemade Sauce, Onion, Cilantro, Lime):

This was incredible! Extremely fresh Shrimp, Oyster and especially the Pulpo (Octopus)! The Octopus was the highlight, being so tender and nothing like the rubbery texture that Octopus is associated with. We devoured this in seconds. :heart:

Wood Grilled Black Cod Fish Tacos (Wood Grilled Black Cod, Housemade Mayo, Cabbage, Pico de Gallo, Handmade Tortilla):

A new menu item, the Wood Grilled Black Cod was perfectly cooked! Imagine buttery, tender, supple Black Cod and you have Chef Cetina Jr.'s version. :slight_smile: It was just a touch underseasoned (everyone in our group thought so), but still so fresh and perfectly cooked.

We felt Chef Cetina didn’t really reach the levels of Guerilla Tacos and Chef Wes Avilla in terms of matching Salsas and flavors, however, thanks to @PorkyBelly and others, we remembered to test out their 5 Handmade Salsas:

They all were very interesting and very fresh. :slight_smile: For the Black Cod Taco, a bit of the Chile Morita was good. The Cacahuate Salsa (with Roasted Peanuts) was even better. :slight_smile:

But I thought even the Kut (Roasted Habanero Peppers Salsa) was also very distinct and matched well with this Taco.

Basically adding any of the 5 Handmade Salsas made this Black Cod Taco sing and much more interesting. :slight_smile:

Torta de Camaron Empazinado (Breaded Shrimp, Homemade Bread, Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado):

Thanks to @PorkyBelly for this recommendation as well! :slight_smile: The Breaded Shrimp was lightly crisped (although we wish it had more crunch), and so fresh! They were very generous with their Shrimp as @PorkyBelly noted, and biting into it with their Homemade Bread tasted like a very good Shrimp Po’ Boy. :slight_smile:

Like the Taco test above, I sampled all 5 of their Salsas and really, all 5 of them made this Shrimp Torta SO GOOD! Any of the 5 would’ve worked just fine, so be sure to add one for your meal. :wink:

With their Housemade Salsas added, I enjoyed this Shrimp Sandwich more than Little Jewel’s Shrimp Po’ Boy.

Overall, Holbox is a nice, exciting at times, place to enjoy Chef Cetina’s Seafood creations with a Yucatecan angle. While the much-vaunted Uni Ceviche was disappointing (foiled by bad Uni :frowning:), we’re hoping it was just an off-day (for supplies) and look forward to trying it again.

The Cocktel Mixto (with that amazing Pulpo) was reason to return - so good! - and the Black Cod Tacos are fantastic, so fresh, perfectly cooked and buttery tender (with the addition of one of their Housemade Salsas). :slight_smile:

Holbox
(inside Mercado La Paloma)
3655 S. Grand Ave., #C9
Los Angeles, CA 90007


#94

Nice report @Chowseeker1999 , glad you liked it, except for the dreaded bad uni. The uni looks fresh from your pictures,
but i guess you never know until you taste it. The coctel is indeed excellent and the torta with salsa is so satisfying. was the paella on the menu on your visit?

Try out the live diver scallop next time.


#95

Hi @PorkyBelly,

No, didn’t see the Paella as an option. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that, and try the diver scallop next time. :slight_smile: Thanks.


#96

Great report!

Too bad Holbox wasn’t firing on all cylinders for you.
The advantage that place like Guerilla Tacos has its that they aren’t married to a particular menu. If the uni isn’t great, Wes won’t put it on the menu. If the uni isn’t great, it seems like Holbox will just go with it because their menu is more static.

I’m going back soon to do a proper exploration of the menu but I think I’ll wait until the uni report is more positive.


#97

Went for dinner today and no uni tostada, maybe they aren’t getting good uni right now.


#98

Looks like I missed the illustrious @Chowseeker1999 by a matter of hours!

Chowseeker, you are spot on about the uni (we also received 5 lobes), which was indeed disappointing atop the otherwise terrific opah ceviche.

We, too, had the cocktel mixto and the wood-grilled black cod fish tacos, both of which were delicious.

We also had the scallop al carbon which was tasty, too. One half of the shell had the frilly edge bits (pretty sure that’s the scientific name, right?) fried up like calamari, served on top of shredded red cabbage with a few dots of mayo and the darker salsa. Mentioning this because I hadn’t seen it in previous reports.

They were sold out of the surf clam ceviche, pata de mula, and the tortas by the time we got there (between 3:30 - 4:00 pm), so it may be worth going earlier for those who are interested in trying these items.

Even with the uni mishap, looking forward to a return visit to try the other dishes and maybe level-up to a bang-bang like some of you. :slight_smile: Many thanks for this recommendation.


#99

Great report @Pomsmoms. :slight_smile:

Bummer about the Uni, but now based on your experience and ours, it looks like this weekend was just not a good time / batch for Uni. :frowning:

But I’ll definitely be back (loved everything else). The Surf Clam looks great, thanks!


#100

@Pomsmoms, that long frilly part must be the outer mantle - nice. We didn’t get that with our orders. Either it’s a new part of the presentation or maybe discretion of which chef is on duty? How was it?