Last Saturday, I walked into this beautifully sun-kissed, rustic, loft-like establishment with ethnic prints and patterns, which was a clear embodiment of Latin American roots with a chic and modern twist. With exposed ceilings decorated with untreated wooden doors, the decor was so vibrant yet warm that I’d actually love for my living room to look like this! The music playing n the overhead makes you want to just get up and salsa, and you just know you’re in for a treat!
Poco Loco is somewhat of a fusion concept, bringing us the best of Latin America. Here, you can expect flavors from Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico, and /or Mexico to end up on one of the bright colored plates placed before you. Most of the times, the Jack-of-All-Master-of-None approach towards menus fails miserably, but that’s not the case with these guys; almost every single thing we tried here was quite phenomenal.
We started off with a couple of Anticuchos. We tried the Beef Fillet one, which was so good it was ridiculous. The meat was tender, juicy, and succulent. The Chimichurre sauce on top was the perfect accompaniment. The sprinkling of sea salt as a garnish was a tad too generous though, and made the bite a bit too salty.
We also tried the Chilean Seabass, which tasted so fresh it might as well have still been alive. Perfectly cooked, this skewer of fish was drowsed in a beautifully balanced, spiced-honey and mixed seed salsa.
Next, we dug into some Watermelon and Crispy Duck Salad; something I was very curious to try as I’m a big fan of the Watermelon-Feta combo. This one tasted interesting to say the least, and not unpleasant in any way. I did however feel that there was far too much oil in the duck confit, and truth be told I couldn’t really taste the duck. To me, that’s almost a waste of good duck.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Seabass Ceviche which was made with the most vibrant lime, pomegranate and pistachio salsa! It wasn’t the best Ceviche I’ve had but trust me, it tasted a lot better than it looked.
And finally, the best tacos I’ve ever had (in my defense I’ve never been to Latin America)
We tried the Beef Skirt Steak tacos, and the Soft Shell Crab Tacos. Both of these were packed with flavor and with meat. The Beef Skirt Tacos were extremely juicy and tender, and the Soft Shell Crab tacos (which were a first for me) tasted nutty, crunchy and delicious!
For the main course, we went with our server Oleg’s suggestion and ordered a Slow-cooked Lamb Barbacoa. This was recommended with a side of Roasted Potatoes and Mole Negro, but we passed on the potatoes and asked for the Mole Negro with some chips, so that I could try it. First, the lamb. It won snow-angels from M. As promised by Oleg, this Baby Lamb shoulder was so tender we could literally pull it off the bone with a spoon, and melted in our mouths. Perfectly seasoned, the lamb continued to braise in the cast iron dish it was placed on the table in. M labeled this One Of The Best Cooked Lamb He Has Ever Had. About that Mole Negro though……oh man. This sauce was something else. It has the standard sauce ingredients: chillies, onions, garlics, spices….but that only made up 40% of the sauce. the other 60% was dark chocolate! Except it didn’t taste sweet at all! It was absolutely phenomenal. I wiped the bowl clean.
We actually decided to skip dessert after the previous day’s Magnolia Bakery tasting- as any Diabetes fearing person should. All in all, it was an extremely delicious and satisfying meal. I was never a fan of Mexican food, as it always seemed to be drowsed in cheese, bacon, salsa and guacamole- at least in the places I tried it at- and assumed that most Latin American food is round about the same. Poco Loco, however, has completely changed my mind and opened me up towards this beautiful, Pandora’s closet of a cuisine, and I can’t wait to dig deeper into it.