Maya SF (Split from Sonoma/Santa Rosa thread)
As I was enterteining a friend chef from Mexico, we decided to go to Richard Sandoval's Maya in SOMA.
It was truly a dissapointing experience, wether from a Mexican cuisine perspective or not, the price and hype do not reflect the food quality.
Las quesadillas surtidas were warm not pipping hot, and the filling (rajas con queso y champinon) were too watery resulting in soggy empanadas. The queso cotija was commercial and flavorless, the salsas were limp, no zing of any kind (herbal, citrus, spice..)
The ceviche was a "higher quality" coctel de camaron.. meaning, the fish was cut into pieces and cooked and then placed in a tamarind chili sauce. The traditional coctel de camaron has Orange Fanta =) and this was not far from being that. Fish was overcooked and the marinade was either non existent or too light. The sauce was a bit more complex but it was missing something.. and it was served w/o any crackers or chips or something to sop up the juices.
I won't even get into the sopa de elote with a huitlacoche dumpling.
But what really shocked us was the two main plates: pipian verde (the special of the day) y costillas de puerco. The pipian came with a giant piece of pork which had no seasoning at all! The pipian was watered down and lacked its typical texture. The costillas came with a sauce that tasted exactly like the Knorr Suiza sauces you buy in a bottle with a sandy aftertaste that overpowered everything.
Service was great, however, friendly, on-top-of-it, knowledgable.
I know there is a desire for more upscale Mexican cuisine but the food should be good; traditional or not, it should be seasoned and presented beautifully (3 of our 4 plates came with the same green dust in the rim).