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Dec 29, 2009 05:56 AM

Los Molcajetes, Staten Island

Nice addition to Stapleton, right across from DoSi... I have a vested interest since it's located a soft 9-iron away from where I live. The new owners upgraded the interior significantly since it was the dreadful Los Lobos. I resisted this place at first, since they were going after a mid-market gringo crowd but it has won me over with a fairly eclectic menu that satisfies both obrero and white collar alike. The gimmick here are combinations served in Molcajetes but one can easily just go with autentico little tacos or quesadillas made with a light fresh masa. What they need is a liquor license to get the margarita and guacamole crowd, no shame in that. If you go, just ask chef Ricardo what he recommends, this DF veteran has been around some of the best NYC kitchens and has some great ideas about where to take the menu.

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  1. Thanks for the tip...I had noticed (driving past the place in the dark last night) that the place looked different, so wondered what was going on. I'll definitely give it a try.

    1. I totally agree with you and the only thing they need is their liquor license. The food is great and i loved the molcajetes. I met the owners, they owned a really famous mexican restaurant in queens it was called Plaza Garibaldi. I would definitely recommend everyone to try it and hopefully we can try their delicious tamarindo margaritas soon.

      1. I brought the family over, after paying a visit myself some weeks earlier. The food was great. We all had the big guacamole prepared at table; wife had the carnitas, son ordered the tex-mex style shrimp quesadilla, and I had the squash-blossom Mexican quesadilla. Everybody was really happy with the food. It's obvious that the corn tortillas are made from fresh masa, and the tortilla chips are fried right there, still glistening. A lovely assortment of cheese and garnishes on my quesadilla, and where they sourced fresh squash blossoms I can't imagine, but there they were. Guacamole was excellent. Definitely recommended.

        Don't order the plain coffee; the espresso version is somewhat better. Or better yet, stick to Mexican sodas. I found the big-screen TV, tuned to a cable channel, annoying, but after a few minutes the owner thankfully switched it off and put on some salsa.

        1. Anyone know what's going on with this place lately? It seemed to have closed for all of August, and I thought, OK, some places might do that in the summer. But they've also been closed every time I passed by since Labor Day. I hope Ricardo hasn't packed it in.

          4 Replies
          1. re: comestible

            comestible - did you ever get any insight into this?? My wife and I read about it in the Advance and tried it out and loved it.... the authentic Mexican style was a great alternative to one of our other favorites, the Tex-Mex staple Adobe Blues. We both love Mexican and were thrilled to have a top notch Mexico-Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood ... there's now a "For Rent" sign on the edifice :\... let me know if you found anything out. Thanks!

            Adobe Blues
            63 Lafayette Ave, Staten Island, NY 10301

            1. re: matstars

              Yep, it's totally gone...noted the "business for sale" sign on the front. Sad. I was hoping they'd just moved to a different address.

              Adobe Blues? I think I'd only go there for the beer! I ordered enchiladas from the lunch menu a couple of times and I'm sorry to say they were really awful. Maybe other selections are better?

              I've been to couple of other Mexican places in or near Stapleton and they were far below the standard of Los Molcajetes.

              On a brighter note, there's a new Sri Lankan place, Lakruwana, at Bay and Broad, relaxing atmosphere, same owner as the former Lakruwana in Tompkinsville. Sunday buffet on par with SanRasa. I've had terrific curry at SanRasa, but have yet to explore the menu at Lakruwana.

              Adobe Blues
              63 Lafayette Ave, Staten Island, NY 10301

              1. re: comestible

                Comestible, we visited Lakruwana a few weekends back and sampled from the menu, as well as the weekend buffet -- and were thoroughly impressed. The food had been made with care -- using authentic ingredients. The dishes we tried were light on oil (unlike many S. Asian buffets) and offered an array of distict flavors (from coconut-y to more savoury flavors typically found in S. Indian cooking). From the buffet, we were esp. impressed by the chana daal and the egg curry. The lamprais and the hoppers from the menu were also good, and the homemade kata sambol packed an excellent spicy punch. (full details of are meal are here: I'm eager to return to explore the menu further.

                668 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10304

                1. re: CitySpoonful

                  Thanks for your report and details. Glad you liked it! I've eaten there once since I wrote above, and enjoyed the kottu roti. You wrote about the lamprais and the fact that you're a vegetarian. Did you get the cooks to make you a vegetarian version? (I'm asking because I'm a vegetarian too.)

          2. I noticed in the local paper that one of the issues before the local community board last week was granting a liquor license to...Los Molcajetes! At the same address. I wonder if it will be re-opened, and by whom.