I used to be first launched to Mexican meals at Mi Casa, a restaurant within the industrial district of our Southern California neighborhood. Inside seconds of being seated, the waitress would convey out a big bowl of oily, crispy tortilla chips and a crimson salsa that I nonetheless crave.
The quantity of cheddar cheese the kitchen makes use of is comical. Tacos are half filling and half shredded cheese. I peered into the kitchen as soon as and noticed industrial-sized buckets overflowing with yellow cheese. When an order of nachos involves the desk, it’s shiny, shiny orange—the aftermath of a cheese volcano overlaying the plate.
Once I moved to the Bay Space and found taqueria after taqueria within the Mission, I understood that Mi Casa was a gathering floor, a liminal house. Kilos of American cheese collided with and overwhelmed tacos, burritos and nachos. Mi Casa was Mexican American meals, a hybrid delicacies that mall chains would increase upon and exploit, diluting flavors with synthetic components. After a few margaritas, who would discover or care? Once I return to go to, I make a degree of ordering what are primarily cheese tacos for a powerful hit of Mi Casa nostalgia.
Mi Casa Grill in Richmond can be a hybrid restaurant. However the chef, Juvenal Magaña, is incorporating contemporary California produce into his dishes. There’s no signal of cheddar cheese anyplace in sight. Small, considerate touches seem on the composed plates. Vegetarian tostaditas ($12.25) included asparagus, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash piled excessive on a fava bean unfold that rivaled, and possibly bettered, many iterations of hummus. And, in entrance of the 2 tostaditas, there have been thick wedges of radish and evenly salted, peeled cucumber.
It feels like an insignificant factor, so as to add radish and cucumber to a plate. However these particulars come from the thoughts of somebody who’s pondering via the way in which somebody is definitely consuming a dish. The greens on the tostaditas are grilled, deeply charred and topped with shiny purple cabbage, onions and two rings of bell peppers, one orange and one crimson. After you eat one, the chilly crisp cucumber and radish act as a palate cleanser, the equal of a sorbet between programs at a French restaurant.
There’s a taqueria within the Mission the place I’ve ordered flautas many instances. I get a facet of guacamole and I’m set. Chef Magaña’s flautas ($10.95) make those I’m used to consuming pale compared. He covers and smothers them with so many fairly colours and components. White cotija cheese mingles with crema, contemporary herbs, salsa, pickled crimson onions. His signature bell pepper rings crown the entire dish. The flautas themselves are crispy and golden. I opened my eyes extensively to plead my case for the final one.
A tough entrée for some Mexican eating places is the chile relleno (I don’t suppose my So. Cal. Mi Casa tried to make it). Berkeley’s Tacubaya was the primary place I attempted one which wasn’t dreadful, soggy and sodden. Earlier than making an attempt it there, I had prevented the dish. Mi Casa Grill’s model ($16.95) made me consider chile rellenos as a go-to dish somewhat than as one thing to skip or as an afterthought. Magaña does cowl it in crimson sauce, however it’s added proper earlier than a server brings it to the desk so it nonetheless retains a crispiness.
Mi Casa Grill’s menu is huge. All the things you’ve ever needed at a Mexican restaurant is on it. Tortas, enchiladas, mole enchiladas, quessabiria, quesadillas, mulitas and burritos. There’s a grilled meat and seafood part. Plus nachos, ceviche and agua fresca (jamaica is dynamite, and the pineapple is just too). What shocked me was the standard and care that went into every dish. One thing as simple as a taco was additionally distinctive. The grilled shrimp taco ($5.50) was gentle and balanced with loads of properly acidic, finely diced veggies. In the end although, it was the freshly made tortilla that made the dish soar.
Mi Casa Grill, open Tues to Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri to Solar 8am-10pm. 12056 San Pablo Ave., Richmond. 510.374.6033. instagram.com/micasa.grill