Nacho Ordinary Mexican Restaurant. El Patron.
In Southern California there are entire restaurant chains dedicated to perfecting the fish taco (Rubios, Wahoos, etc.). Those spoiled Californians don’t know how good they have it! Here in the Midwest, a craving for flaky fish and crispy cabbage on a warm tortilla is much, much harder to satisfy.
Luckily, Kansas City has El Patron, where a mex-food snob like me can get tacos that taste like an authentic slice of SoCal. Two corn tortillas are loaded with lightly battered fish and all of the trimmings, including generous hunks of creamy avocado. The fish taco dinner comes with a heaping plate of El Patron’s wonderful, fluffy rice. Word to the wise: do not plan on splitting this meal; you will not want to share a single one of your scrumptious fish tacos!
The decor at El Patron is a welcome departure from the dim lighting, decrepit booths, and themed tschotskes that ones typically finds in a Mexican restaurant. Instead, exposed brick and lofty ceilings create a sophisticated, urban vibe. Modern art on the wall and a lively bar complete the contemporary package.
Tip: The nachos are superb, full of gooey goodness.
The only thing that could possibly be improved upon is the salsa. El Patron’s salsa can’t decide if it wants to be blended or chunky. This identity crisis leaves the salsa with a consistency that is both watery and lumpy. I recommend the hot salsa, which has a respectable after burn. The mild salsa is completely bland (best for wimps and little kids).
On a recent visit, my son warned us all not to double dip our chips. He need not have worried; my husband and I were both vying for the hot salsa and Elliott finished off the the entire bowl of mild by himself. He ate his chicken taco and rice with an equal degree of gusto and asked “Mommy, when can we come to this place again?”
Son, you don’t have to ask me twice.
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