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Nopalito

  • m
  • mick Apr 2, 2009 06:24 PM

Although Bauer gave it the best review I find it very good, obviously very fresh ingredients but Gordita a bit greasy and the Posole not that spectacular and definately not for two as he suggested. Other items good including carnitas but best in the entire Bay Area, NO! just new.

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  1. Other recent thoughts, opinions, etc. on Nopalito:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5937...

    1. What would you say the best is? Where have you found Posole with better tasting hominy?

      4 Replies
      1. re: SteveG

        Have you had the posole at Nopalito, Steve? I had mixed feelings about Nopalito on my visit.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609110

        The pozole based on how it looked at the next table would make me reluctant to order it. First of all they pre-mixed the cabbage and onion in there. I prefer to add them myself. I kept sneaking sideways glances at the next table thinking "where are the condiments?"

        There was a dish on the table that I thought these people had finished ... it turned out to have the lime, dried oregano and ground chiles ... but they were mearly little dabs on the plate. There are things I'd like to try at Nopalito, but the pozole would be at the bottom unless I hear a few positive reports.

        -----
        Nopalito
        306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: rworange

          Here's your other post (your link just reciprocally links to this thread):
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6106...

          Yes, I have had the posole, and I loved it. The hominy had the best flavor I have ever encountered. As for the raw veggies being premixed or on the side, they definitely come on the side when you order takeout to prevent them from wilting and getting soggy, and I think the same is true in the restaurant. I've wished for a bit more cilantro once in a while, but the oregano is so fresh and flavorful that a little goes a long way, much more so than is typical.

          As to your comment in the other thread about the tortillas not having an intoxicating corn aroma, these were the most fragrant and flavorful tortillas I've had in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, or Mexico. I have not had the ones at La Borenquena so I'll have to give them a try.

          I'm also surprised your lamb was de-fatted. When we had it as takeout two weeks ago, many of the cubes were 1/4 to 1/3 luscious flavorful fat. I've noticed a lot of comments on chowhound complaining about "greasy looking carnitas" or "greasy gorditas," so hopefully Nopalito isn't trying to turn the food into health food in response to complaints in the restaurant. It's beyond me why some people think "little fat things" should be low-fat, or why fatty meat braised in its own fat should be greaseless.

          1. re: SteveG

            I chatted with the chef, and he mentioned that the most returned thing in the kitchen at Nopa were the lamb riblets that were once on the menu, because of the grease factor. So there might be some catering to the clientele's tastes. But he did mention that the lamb he uses in the barbacoa was rather lean.

          2. re: rworange

            Recently had the pozole...NOT good.
            The hominy was undercooked, so it stuck in my teeth a bit, it was very greasy (like difficult to get a bite that wasn't just palate coating) and extremely underseasoned.
            The pozole was the most disappointing thing we ordered on an already disappointing visit (food-wise).

        2. I am so happy with this place the food is fresh, organic, nicely presented, good staff and a very simple, nice casual interior.
          I went for lunch yesterday and had the fish taco seared adobo sturgeon, ancho chile nice bite, orange and tomatillo chipotle sauce- nice piece of fish perfectly cooked and the sauce was great I ordered a second one. I appreciate they make their own tortillas too!
          I had to try the carnitas because that is the marker of a good Mexican kitchen- Loved it, tender juicy the orange and bay leaf really came through.
          The mixed citrus drink went perfectly with the food a combination of orange, blood orange and meyer lemon.
          Lastly the chocolate and cinnamon popsicle very intense and messy.

          the owner was there so I chatted with him a bit, he is there only a few days a week and at NOPA the rest of the time. He is running a tight ship hope it continues to remain that way. One of the cooks is from Guanajuato and one from Veracruz which was reflective regionally of what I ordered

          4 Replies
          1. re: Lori SF

            "I had to try the carnitas because that is the marker of a good Mexican kitchen- Loved it, tender juicy the orange and bay leaf really came through."

            That is strange... most of my favorite Mexican restaurants don't have Carnitas on the menu =)

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Properly braised pork or any meet is a good a proper kitchen IMO. This is not like the carnitas dumper in a heated pan with grease and scooped out for a burrito.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                That's cuz you're not living in Little Michoacan (aka Northern California) any more. :-J

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Nope... miss some good Carnitas, Barbacoa, Mixiotes & Moles... ah but the Thai meal I just had fugedaboutit... surpassed every mainland Thai I've had.

            2. Did not try the posole, but had a good dinner there last week.

              The mixed citrus drink was delicious and refreshing.
              Totopos con chile was a good chips starter
              I didn't find the gorditas to be overly greasy
              Tried the mole poblano and the birria, both of which were enjoyable.

              Good vibe. Long lines.

              1. We've split off a mention about pozole at El Delfin to its own topic here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6928...

                1. Three of us finally made it to Nopalito and it was outstanding. Everything we ordered was top notch. I started with the bean/smoked bacon tamal and then had the Birria di Chivo. Both were outstandingly flavorful with both depth and complexity. The accompanying corn tortillas were also wonderful. But everything else was great too - the beef empanada, the vegetable quesadilla, the totopos, and the pozole.

                  The drink selection is also deliciously well chosen. The Magnolia Kalifornia Kölsch, the Moonlight "Death & Taxes" Black Lager, and the Verdad Rosé were all delicious on their own and great pairings with the food.

                  We haven't been to all of the newer Mexican places in San Francisco yet, but so far this is my favorite in the Bay Area. We'll see if we can find a way to get there more often...

                  Michael