But is it Mexican?
- DiningDiva Aug 3, 2013 10:16 PM
Short article that explains the cooking philosophy of Jair Tellez, chef/owner of Laja and exec. chef at MeroToro in D.F.
I have not been to Laja recently & have heard conflicting reports about it. Some ( J. Porter included) say it's better than ever. Others say it's lost a step or two and is being eclipsed by a lot of the new places opening.
I have been to MeroToro and enjoyed that quit a bit. There is no doubt that Jair is quit a talented chef.
I dined at Laja about 10 days ago, on the Friday of the last weekend of the Vendimia. We were a party of 11 and there were several other large parties dining as well.
I have eaten at Laja a few times per year for over 10 years and it is as good as it ever was. One complaint a few of my dining partners have made is the predictability of the main dishes: fish (more often than not, sea bass) and meat (usually lamb or pork, maybe beef). They are always quite good but the surrounding dishes are the stars; almost always innovative and often surprising. The gazpacho with sea urchin was particularly memorable on this particular visit..
Maitre'd and winemaker, Andres Blanco has his own wine label, Moebius, but he also makes wines for others. We had a wine paired dinner featuring two of his excellent wines from a Tecate, Baja California winery (whose name I regrettably have forgotten). We returned to the restaurant the following day just to buy a bottle of the Tecate-based wine to take to dinner at a friend's house. At 5 PM the parking lot was packed, the restaurant was filled and there were even people seated outside, eating, drinking and smoking cigars.
There are other places to try and this weekend we are having lunch at Finca Altazano (Javier Plascencia's summer restaurant near Laja) and the dependably fabulous Corazón de Tierra.