After my first visit to Californios, I decided I wanted to come back relatively soon to see what a second meal experience would be like. Often, it’s the second visit that determines whether I like a restaurant or not because there is less novelty on a return, and I can get a sense of how consistent the experiences can be. Since it’s local to me, I just had to fit it into a time where their availability matched my non-travel times. This visit took place about a month after the first visit.
The experience started off again with a glass of a Spanish Pinot noir rosé cava made using the méthode champenoise.
The first presentation was again a small glass of pineapple juice with cinnamon and mint.
Additionally, I ordered a glass of sparkling non-alcoholic Riesling juice to go with dinner.
The food presentations started off with four small snacks: puffed amaranth cracker with black lime and guajillo (dried mirasol chili) powder, Toma cheese mousse, and beets; masa harina from Venezuela arepa with persimmon and calabaza squash, black bean; trout roe on top of butternut squash croquette with parsnip and jalapeño salsa, purple masa tostada with smoked trout, winter citrus, horseradish yogurt and fermented daikon.
Next was a chilapita made with squid ink and purple masa tart shell and filled with octopus ceviche and finished with a celery and mint espuma.
The next bite was a purple infladita (corn puff) topped with torched sweet Hokkaido sea urchin, cilantro blossom, white soy glaze, and filled with guajillo chileatole (corn pudding salsa)
This layered dish was a bacalao that starts at the bottom with potato confit. Additional layers were salted black cod, chives and Meyer lemon mousse, and avocado mousse topped with first press olive oil and pickled jalapeño.
For the upcoming taco bar, I was provided with escabeches of ley limes, pickled carrots, and lime-marinated onions.
The first taco was representative of the Yucatán. Berkshire pork was barbequed in the style of Cochinita Pibil with hoja santa crema, apple and pickled onions. The pork was moist, tender and very tasty.
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