Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bar #44 (Preview) El Carnicero/Super Chango Tequileria

Three years ago Kelly and I decided to get married in places that we loved. Our wedding was on Huntington Beach. Miraculously, one day after a large storm front moved in we received a perfect sunny day in May. The lake even pretended it was the ocean giving us pleasant blue waves. We then moved onto one of our favorite restaurants, Momocho for our reception. Our wedding was small and the reception was held in the mid-afternoon. We were able to use the 2nd floor of the restaurant. We got to enjoy fantastic margaritas, guacamole and chips. Not many people get to have wild boar for their wedding dinner. It was a great success. Three years later our friends at Momocho decided to open a new restaurant and bar right around the corner from me. One of my favorite bars has become my newest local bar as bar #44 (preview), El Carnicero and its bar Super Chango Tequileria.
We were invited to El Carnicero's invite only, soft opening. Due to a miscommunication the invite came late and we weren't on the list when we arrived but were allowed in anyway. We found two seats at the bar and met Kellie our bartender. She would make sure that everything went well for us this evening and was always knowledgable about everything on the new menu.
El Carnicero's is a hybrid between a gastropub and a Mexican restaurant. It's got a clean look to it with lots of wood and a splash of Mexican wrestling. The seating is spread out enough for easy movement, no cramping and to keep noise down to tolerable levels.
They had a happy selection of craft and Mexican restaurant standards on tap. I didn't get those however. El Carnicero does amazing things with tequila and I needed it in my belly. I started off with a Spicy Naranja Chiquita. This drink is a refreshing, yet spicy mixture of blanco (white) tequila, Vietnamese cinnamon and red pepper syrup, and Jarrito (a Mexican brand of soft drink.) This is an exclusive drink out of their separate bar, Super Chango Tequileria. Super Chango will only be open Friday through Sunday creating it's own separate tequilatastic experience. I assume it will also be the only area that you can stand without getting into the servers' ways.
Kelly had one their famous margaritas. She had our favorite cucumber margarita. A light and refreshing mixture of actual cucumber and tequila with an amazing chili-pepper salt around the rim.
We started off with Orange Sesame and Habenero Guacamole and chips. It was so good. It's a spicy guac with an orange citris splash to bring out its flavor.
My entree was a duck leg confit tamale. It was like a Mexican Thanksgiving Day dinner on an open corn corn husk. The tastes changed as you ate it. It's only downside and really the only one of the whole evening was the cornmeal lumps were a little tougher than you'd want. These may already be perfected by the time they open. I wolfed down my green beans faster than I could write down a description. I'll simply recommend them. The empanadas were fine, however their mole sauce is probably one of the best out there. It's like a chocolate sauce but different, and includes 58 ingredients and days of prep.
I want you to take a picture with Pepe and post it to the Every Bar Facebook wall or put it up on Twitter @everybarlkwd or on Instagram tagged with #everybarinlkwd. In a month I'll buy one of you that does a shot at Super Chango Tequileria.
I got to talk to Eric the chef and owner of El Carnicero. You can quickly tell that he is proud of his food and restaurant. We talked about his complex mole sauce, the separate tequileria (worthy of visiting in itself), and his staff. I found during my time there that they not only are friendly, knowledgable about their product and never left us waiting but they really like working here. This last trait I have seen repeatedly raise the bar on different bars to bring them above their competition.
I will be returning to El Carnicero; specifically to Super Chango Tequileria to see how it compares to the rest for the official blog post. I'd be returning there anyway. Obviously, this isn't a cheap place to go. You wouldn't expect it to be, but it's definitely worth it. El Carnicero, bar #44, is fucking amazing and you need to go there right now!
El Carnicero, unlike its predecessor, does not smell like sewage.

Kelly, Me, and Kellie

Thank you Kellie for the great service and Eric for your time and free food.

16918 Detroit Ave

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