Monday, March 02, 2009
Seems the upscale Mexican/Latin Bistro type eatery is a new trend (or an old one my friends are starting to turn to). My friend Sachiko had a quick trip back from Japan a bit ago and she invited a few friends to Colibri in San Francisco. It was conveniently near Union Square, just a couple blocks from where she was staying. The interior was warm and welcoming and it was fun to be out with the 'girls'.
I heard that their sangria ia to die for, and they are as good as advertised. We immediately ordered some Guacamole to be have something to nosh on while we enjoyed our drinks and decided on other dishes to come. The Guacamole was particularly good slathered on the warm house made corn tortillas.
Three unique and delicious salsas came with the guacamole and tortillas.
Colibri is a small-plates type bistro where all is shared. That suited us perfectly. The first dish out was a platter of Quesidillas. These consist of hand made corn tortillas and Oaxaca cheese, with a couple of choices for the vegetables inside. We chose the fire-roasted poblano chile strips. These were soft and cheesy and incredible.
Next up was Sopes Suridos, a sope assortment, with beans, chicken, shredded pork and sautéed vegetables; with crumbled queso fresco, onion and sour cream. We all enjoyed these tender and different bites.
We were particularly anticipating the Cheviche Veracruzano, fresh lime marinated white fish, green olives, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, tomato, avocado and olive oil. Our taste buds were rewarded for the wait! The melding of the lime with the fish, herbs and avocado piled on crisp tortilla triangles received our full approval.
I've noticed that most of my Japanese friends have a real soft spot for slowly stewed or roasted pork dishes, so naturally Carnitas was on our small plates list. I took a small bite had have to admit it was tender and flavorful, and the sauce on the side gave it a nice kick. The description on the menu read: Michoacan style marinated tender chunks of pork, served with guajillo and chile de arbol salsa.
And we all wanted to try an unusual vegetable dish, Nopales Asados. Nopales in the name indicates it has cactus in its ingredients, and the dish was described as grilled young cactus leaves and portobello mushroom strips, marinated in fresh herbs, roasted garlic, oregano and olive oil. A great side, it was not only good, it paired well with the fish, meat and vegetable dishes we enjoyed.
Our last savory dish was Papas al Gratin, potatoes au gratin with poblano chile cream. This was enthusiastically complimented for being creamy and yet letting the taste of the potatoes shine through.
Finally we ordered one dessert with four spoons, the Mango crème brulée. We all approved of the creamy mango custard with a bottom layer of fresh mango pieces. Sweet yet not overpowering, it was the perfect end to a fun evening trying new things with friends. This is a great place to meet friends and have an evening of catch up over tasty morsels.