Nopalito has opened
I'm going to break from my frenzy of nonstop b-school insanity and say: go eat at Nopalito. It is incredible. Some of the best Mexican food I have had anywhere. I was in SF last month, went with a group of six, and everyone loved everything. They hit that extremely rare combination of deep, complex, satisfying, authentic flavors coaxed from stellar local/organic/sustainable ingredients. The beans are a great example: you wont find a better quality bean then Rancho Gordo anywhere, but they know exactly what to do to those beans to make them taste spectacular.
Highlights were gordita, pork belly quesadilla, mole, and carnitas. Prices were quite reasonable - this ain't a taco truck or mission burrito joint, it's classy sit down food, lovingly and painstakingly prepared, featuring the best ingredients the bay offers. But for the quality, it's a steal - they'd be charging twice as much for Italian/French/Spanish/New American.
Bauer's review is spot-on. The naysayers are using an irrational view of what Mexican food "should" cost to cloud their judgement.
God, I miss the Bay. Can't wait to return. Nopalito will be on the top of my list next time I visit.
2 of us ate there Sunday nite.
My roasted lamb was delectible: moist, flavorful, complex. And a generous serving. Entree cost $14, and incl a serving of soup broth. Plus the hand-made tortillas were superb.
But my sweetie ordered a caldo that lacked flavor: it was a chicken broth with some cauliflower, but that's it. I'd go back for that lamb any day -- but not for soup.
Two of us went to Nopalito on Sat. for lunch at around 1:00 and got a table on the patio (thank god for the heat lamps). Parking was easy in the Faletti's lot. Had the Totopos con Chile ($4) I agree the crema dip was nice and help cool the spice from the sauce ont he chips that were crispy and not soggy. we also split the Carnitas ($14) with cabbage salad, picked jalapenios, tomatillo salsa on the side. The pork was amazing and greasy, With one drink (non-alchoholic - they have beer and wine) the bill came to $23. I was completely full and they brought out two tiny Mexican wedding cookies with the bill. People were waiting for a table when we left. I would go back to try a few other things, but it would be hard to pass up that pork...
Totopos con Chile ($4) were hot tortilla chips with chile de arbol, crema and lime. Crispy, a little bit of spice, and tasty. Nice crema dip.
Quesadilla Enchilada con Chicharron ($9) with deep fried corn tortilla, crispy pork belly, gujillo salsa, jack cheese, onions, cilantro was delicious but artery clogging. Good flavor on the pork.
Carnitas ($14) was a long braised pork, orange bay leaf, cinnamon and beer with cabbage salad, picked jalapenios, tomatillo salsa on the side. Excellent pork, but as you can see, lots of grease too. Nice balance when placed in tortillia with some of the zesty salad. Extra tortillas were $0.30 each.
Panucho de Pollo al Pibil ($4) Black bean stuffed tortilla, citrus-achiote chicken, pickled red onion and habanero salsa had good bang for the buck. Lots of chicken and very pungent flavored onions. Tortilla got soggy fast, so eat it quick.
Organic Almond Horchata ($3.95) was very good. Heavy cinamon flavor. Too much ice though.
Hibiscus Blood Orange ($3.25) was too bland. Not much flavor to it at all.
They start you off with some complimentary deep fried chick peas and finished us off with a free Mexican cookie. Service was fine but we got asked too many times how we were doing. Nopalito serves up decent Mexican food at reasonable prices. The food was tasty and a nice extension of affordable restaurants in the city.
If you are looking to eat healthy, pick carefully. Their Chicken Mole looks good and is not deep fried. Desserts and Lunch will be added soon. Several beer selections as well as 3 wine from $7 a glass, $28 a bottle.
re: Mick Ruthven
re: Scott M
Looks good to me. Carnitas are not health food. They wouldn't be carnitas if made with lean pork and no lard.
My better half went last night for dinner. Didn't come home raving, but said it's a very welcome addition to the neighborhood. He had a huitlacoche tamale, which they said was fresh, but because it was cooked in the center of the tamale he couldn't tell and he wasn't sure the service staff fully understood his question about the huitlacoche. Regardless, it was supposedly tasty, and tamale filling is probably an ideal use for canned huitlacoche.
From the website:
Nopalito is now open for dinner!
Opening for lunch beginning Monday, February 9.
Take-out service and weekend brunch coming soon.
Hours (beginning February 9):
Continuous and daily service
Monday ‑ Friday: 11 am ‑ close
Saturday ‑ Sunday: 10 am ‑ close
Let the reviewing begin!
306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA