Weird day, went hard at the museums, exhausted ourselves, took a nap in the early evening, awoke to the realization that we still needed to feed ourselves, then, as I was scrolling through miles of opentable resys, trying to figure out whether it was worth trekking from Polanco to the rest of the city, got the call from Quintonil. 8:45 resy, review forthcoming.
What a score hope you enjoy. I loved quintonil when I went but I was also pretty sauced lol
El Farolito (Polanco)
Warrior: 4.0 Warrior Points. Good quality across the board. My favorite thing was the onions.
Peony: I liked the tortillas a lot as they are freshly made. I think it’s good quality. The flavors are all good. I am not that experienced with Mexican food, but I was expecting it to be spicier and saltier. This food is on the light side compared with the tacos we’ve had in LA. I also find that they are more generous with lemon, which is interesting.
Warrior: 6.0 Warrior Points. Good food with character. Reminded us of Gjelina and AOC in style and quality. The execution of the fish and soft shell crab weren’t Michelin star level, but the interesting dishes made up for it. I would eat here often if it were in LA.
Peony: the restaurant is located in a cute street and the interior is nicely designed, too. We had chilli butter, clam toast, artichoke, cabbage, zucchini with squash blossoms, catch of the day, soft crab, and Earl Grey panna cotta. Interesting, I feel the style of food is very much more California style than what I expected of Mexican food. All the food tasted light and healthy and very likable. My favorite is the clam toast.
Carmela y Sal
Warrior: Very good, just about Michelin star quality. Creative dishes, good ingredients. I enjoyed the variety of Mexican cheeses in the dishes. 6.7 Warrior Points. Good value. Our whole, rather gluttonous, meal with a bottle of wine and gratuity came out to about $120. Service was outstanding. The overall experience compares favorably to Michelin-starred Taco Maria in OC, though I felt a couple of dishes there outshined the dishes at Carmela y Sal.
Peony: we had a little bit of hesitation when we entered the restaurant because it looked like an overpriced place with great decoration but okayish food. I’m really glad that the food lived up to the decor. The service was courteous and professional. They moved the cheese from the serving plate to my dining plate, which was unnecessary but a nice gesture. I feel the food has more Mexican flair than Meroma.
(There was more to the menu than pictured below.)
La Barraca Valenciana
Warrior: Baby octopus and bacalao are for me what hot dogs, pastrami, and Spam are for others on FTC. When I saw pictures of this restaurant’s seafood tortas, I knew we had to eat there. I enjoyed both tortas we tried and the complimentary soup and pickles. I also appreciated the neighborhood atmosphere. The restaurant is a couple of blocks from the Frida Kahlo museum and Coyoacan Mercado, and I recommend it if you are in the area. 4.2 Warrior Points,
Peony: just one word: yummy!
Warrior: For me, this is a borderline one Michelin star restaurant, though the setting and service are comparable to two and three star restaurants. Truthfully, I preferred last night’s dinner at Carmela y Sal, for about a quarter the price, though the dishes at Pujol are more refined. Too many dishes tonight tasted flat and boring. 6.7 Warrior Points.
Peony: Certainly an ambitious restaurant serving elevated Mexican food. Impressive service team, who seemed to follow an extraordinarily organized procedure. All the dishes were served promptly. I can tell the chef is quite ambitious from the menu design and plating. We had high expectations and were comparing this restaurant subconsciously with one and two Michelin starred restaurants in LA. I think some of their best dishes are done really well, like the memela plus baby corn, the sea snail ceviche, the amberjack, and the aged mole. But the other dishes seemed to be at a lower level than one Michelin star quality. Personally, I liked the food a little better at Pujol than at Carmela y Sal, but having learned the cost is four times higher, I don’t feel the food is four times better, so Carmela y Sal may be a place with better value and still quite enjoyable.
Warrior: the sister restaurant of Contramar, with the same menu and a much easier reservation. (We could not make it to Contramar because Mexico’s president decided to hold a demonstration in support of himself.). I liked everything we ate. Their signature two-color (contramar) broiled fish is outstanding. 5.3 Warrior Points. We saw Mohamed Salah there, of all people.
Peony: decent food. Again, the flavor is very light. Not too spicy or too salty. The fish was cooked wonderfully.
That ends our Mexico City trip. We couldn’t make it to some places we wanted to go, especially Tamales Madre, due to traffic.
We did some bar hopping too. Our clear favorite was Hanky Panky.