I thought Mestizo was a decent option for Latin/Mexican food but not great. Some dishes were good while others were sub-par. Good queso fundido, pork belly and chilaquiles (tortilla casserole) but was really disappointed with the ceviche and the mahi mahi tacos. The ceviche in particular was a real letdown since we were excited to perhaps finally have some good ceviche in the KC area. What we got was fish in some sweet orange juice concoction.
As for drinks, only had the tequila and margaritas. Pretty good tequila selection and we liked that you can try a tequila flight. The margaritas were excellent, but I guess we did substitute the tequila with El Tesoro Reposado.
We ate at Mestizo in December.
It's behind (north of) Town Center, just off Nall to the east. There's not much street parking but there are parking garages close by. It has a view of what in the winter is the ice rink (which sounds more picturesque than it really is.)
Decor & Atmosphere.
There is not a sombrero to be seen anywhere. Unfortunately, there are a couple of TVs in the bar which can be seen from about anywhere in the restaurant.
In Mexican restaurants, I tend to avoid wine, but the list at Mestizo includes a couple of malbecs and an albariño -- a very pleasant surprise and some nice options if I ever swear off tequila.
For those who like cerveza, there are the usual suspects from both the US and Mexico.
For those with a designated driver or a room across the street at the W, there are tequila flights -- choose 3 from a list of about 40.
From the cocktail menu, I had the prickly pear margarita. It's made from "tuna" which is the magenta colored fruit of the "nopal" cactus and which happens to be one of my favorite fruits. The drink was ok (as opposed to the cactus pear margaritas at the now-closed Baja 600 which were wonderful). This one tasted more of agave sweetener than tuna fruit juice. And it was $12. Next time we go, I'll have the Jamaica margarita. "Agua de jamaica" is a hibiscus infusion and another one of my favorite Mexican flavors. There are other margaritas, mojitos, caipirinhas and sangria.
We were there for a very early dinner and decided to split the Jalisco-style short ribs and an order of churros & ice cream. The food was great. The ingredients used are traditional but, while most of the dishes are based on traditional recipes, they have a little creative twist, which is what one would expect from a celebrity chef.
I guess I would say that Mestizo is to Mexican food what North is to Italian food. The food is very good, but it's not the place to go if you crave some specific traditional dish because either it's not on the menu or if it is, it's not what you would expect. I've been to Mexico several dozen times and when I want something that reminds me of the best meals I've had there, I go to Frida's.
We will go back to Mestizo when we're in that neighborhood and want a good meal.
5270 W 116th St, Leawood, KS 66211
We had a late Sunday lunch there. I didn't want booze, and my query for horchata was met by a blank stare. We shared the corn chowder, veggie tamales, sopes and mahi mahi tacos. The soup was like baby food; satisfying but without any kick. The sopes had very good fresh toppings, but the base had a chew that suggested it had been sitting around for a few hours, rather than formed on the grill to our order. The butternut squash tamale was quite sweet, and rested on a bed of pureed beans and well cooked veggies. The tacos were great. You could tell that the radish and cilantro garnish had been chopped earlier in the day, but they were not totally wilted. I really like the pickled onions, and thought the beans needed more salt. Overall, it was ok. I found the server's ignorance towards horchata bizarre, but otherwise v attentive. None of the food had much kick iof spice, but the use of veggies was very pleasant. I have faith that kc has a better Mexican restaurant, though.