Pujol is a medium sized place which basically offers two seatings for the evening meal. They only offer a tasting menu but you do have some choices. You get all the snacks listed and then pick one of the four choices offered for the next 3 courses, everyone gets their mole and an array of small desserts. Because they want to turn the tables it sometimes feels a bit rushed but otherwise service was efficient, just there wasn’t time to be overly friendly. However they made up for that by offering a tour of the kitchen following the meal where we got to meet the main chef for the evening and see a bit of the kitchen action. We were fortunate to be tucked into a back corner with good space between us and the next tables that made it possible to talk however the main dining room was packed and generated almost too much buzz for comfortable conversation.
We started with a cocktail of mescal and tamarind juice with a rim of toasted salt. It was fun and filled the space till we could get help choosing a wine, which turned out to be quite tasty and reasonable.
The series of snacks you start with are supposed to be an upscale version of many of the common street foods. The chicharron gordita was probably the best but they were all pretty good. The lovely soft corn outside was packed with flavorful ingredients yielding a great combination of flavors and textures. The milpera was a green liquid that was very mild in flavor. It was nicely enhanced if you sucked on the immersed pepper piece and then took a drink. It gave a needed kick. The chia and avocado was another yummy one – spicy, creamy and an all round good hit of flavors and textures. The baby corn was smoky and tender, absolutely delicious.
The tuna crudo was served separately. It was mixed with tomato, lime and coriander. The tuna was nicely tender and blended perfectly with the sauce. A good one!
For the second course we tried the beef tongue which was very tender and delicious. It was mixed with a nice squash and fabulous warm, corny tortillas. The tongue was cut into “ribbons” and cubes with a thick sauce. A total winner here.
The chicken liver was incredibly tender, velvety smooth, and cooked nicely rare. I almost liked it best without mixing the ingredients with it – it was that good. Its accompaniments were fine but needed to be stronger to be in the same league with this amazing liver. The two options were served with a tart green sauce that was heavy on the cilantro and a mild red sauce with a roasted taste.
The suckling lamb taco was fantastic. It was cooked perfectly, nicely tender with good flavor and not greasy. It was good mixed with the red sauce.
The suckling pig taco had a defective tortilla that broke apart when it was folded up. However, who cared – the pork was so tender and flavorful. The pork was covered with a chorizo oil that really enhanced the flavor. Either sauce was great with it but it needed a back up knife and fork which initially were not provided as this was to be hand food.
The chicken was a boneless thigh with skin on and was smoky and juicy with a spicy adobo sauce. The big sheets on top were turnip which were too hot and bitter to enjoy. The greens that surrounded and were underneath it grow in this area but were not as good as they’ve seemed at other times. The chicken was the main star here.
The rabbit was tender, juicy, boneless and skinless with lots of stuff underneath to mix with it when you wrapped it in one of the tasty, fresh and warm dark tortillas. It was a good dish but not memorable.
The previous courses paled in comparison to the mole. It was mix of 2 types with the oldest one being the outer circle and the center one being less aged. You were encouraged to try each separately and then mix them together. The newer one tasted almost like barbecue sauce whereas the older mole had an incredible depth of flavor. It was totally a lick your plate clean taste. The tortillas with this course were melded with a green leaf that were perfect to mop up every bit of this scrumptious stuff.
The palate cleanser was a mix of guava and chili powder. The ice cream portion was dull but when mixed with the fruit it came alive. Even though it was a mild flavor it was really good and a perfect palate cleanser.
We ordered glasses of tequila to go with dessert and it was quite nice. Dessert included avocado ice cream with smoked salt that was okay. The cactus fruit was too seedy for me to eat. The churro was very nice and the camomile cream on the shortbread cookie was totally yummy.