Although his family is from Mexico, El Camino executive chef Victor Meneses grew up stateside in New Mexico, cooking alongside his mother learning the family recipes at a young age. Schooled at the L’Acadamie de Cuisine in Maryland, he also spent five years learning from the likes of Michel Richard and Todd Gray cooking everything from French to Italian. Mexican, however, is where Meneses’ heart is, and El Camino represents many of the unique dishes he ate as a child, but prepared with a modern touch.
Chips and salsas are more authentic, given the proper texture and using ingredients sourced straight from Mexico, from the cactus in his slaw recipe, to the dried passila and morita peppers, árbol and cascabel chilies. Here, the tacos are made in a modern manner, tiny round tortillas coursed out as though they were on a tasting menu on oblong platters, from chili-rubbed skirt steak to crispy grouper. Each features a different type of cheese, sauce, marinade and topping to accentuate the chosen meat — beer-battered brisket served near alone, while crispy fish is given a citrus-infused sauce with a lime, papaya and jalapeño cilantro sauce. Recently, a veggie taco was added upon request from patrons, and combines mushroom, roasted poblano peppers, pickled jalapeño, red onion and Meneses’ fresh-made tomatilla salsa.
Author: Nicole Danna
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