Friday, January 20, 2006

dinner at last

January 11

New-age electronic music has made it to Culiacán, Mexico.
I know because it was playing at LaKazona, the funky and hip restaurant where Jorge decided we would eat this evening.
White walls. Subdued, multi-colored lighting. Mismatched chairs.
Salvador, our waiter, greeted us in a polished and charming sort of broken English. "Hello, I speak little English," he said apologetically, "Just enough to say, 'Hello, I speak little English.'" He spoke a lot more than that, in fact, but we had Jorge, at any rate. I quizzed him about the food. It turns out this cool restaurant was actually Jorge's local joint. He goes there for breakfasts of kidneys or beef liver or steak and eggs.
The music got more upbeat and technolike as young and well-groomed Culichis arrived, and we dined on cream of poblano and cream of bean soups; shrimp with pumpkin seeds and Cajun sauce (pronounced ka-hoon, because we were in Mexico); crab enchilada with chiles, goat cheese and cream; "rollos de Taipei," chicken breast, mixed greens, hot peanut sauce and cilantro sauce; grilled octopus with salsa Cajun; and steak and chicken fajitas. Dessert was guava pie, and a giant, warm cookie.

I ordered a margarita on the rocks, and ended up also drinking the margarita of one of my traveling companions. It was too strong for her. At the behest of Ernesto, the restaurant's owner, we also had wine, a tempranillo from Mexico.

I asked Jorge about fajitas. Clearly this wasn't an authentic Culichi restaurant, and I had always been under the impression that fajitas were an American creation. If they are, that was news to Jorge, who said they were a common thing to eat in Sinaloa.
While I'm on the subject of culinary origins, if you know where the burrito originated, please let me know. I'm told it emerged from somewhere near the Mojave Desert, between Los Angeles and Tucson.

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