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Californios - Chef Val M. Cantu's Michelin-One-Star Mexican Tasting Menu in the Mission - with Sommelier Charlotte Randolph


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Went to Californios this week for the fourth or fifth time, and it once again blew me away.  The food is right up there with the best tasting menus in Mexico City, imo, maybe ranking just-under Pujol in my book.  It would not surprise me at all to see this get a second star in the next couple years.

Tickets are shockingly easy to come by for cooking of this caliber.  Food+tax+service comes to $204/person (at least for the tickets I bought this time) but the wine list is really fun so you'll probably end up spending more.  Thankfully, the ticketing system ensures that past-you pays for the food up-front and actually-eating-the-dinner-you only has to pay for booze. 

You should go.

I didn't take photos but this person did: 

"Mexico + California - The Inventive, Engaging, Stunning Food at Californios [Review + Pics]" on foodtalkcentral.com

3115 22nd Street (22nd & South Van Ness)

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We have a dinner there next month. Looking forward to it.

Our prepaid tix were $230 per person. B and I are light drinkers so that price doesn't include wine pairings. It'll be one glass for me and none for B (good thing too, since B is the designated driver). Alcohol makes me sleepy; one glass of anything is my limit.

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You guys need to go here pronto.

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Horchata - Koshihikari rice, almonds, black cardamom, cinnamon.

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Scallop chicharrón, scallop ceviche, crème fraîche.

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Jicama empanada, shiso, pumpkin, salmon roe.

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Smoked mushroom taco with pickled wild mushrooms.

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Dungeness crab tostada, sour orange segments, sour orange-habanero salsa, Castelfranco radicchio, tarragon.

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Pineapple guava sorbet

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Fuyu persimmon, habanero honey, tarragon

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Tasmanian trout ceviche, dashi, Granny Smith apple

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Aguachile, parsnip, red bell pepper

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Black bean tamales steamed in banana leaves, with salsa on the side

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Smoked squab broth, pomegranate seeds, cilantro flowers

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Tres frijoles with sturgeon caviar, shallots and edible gold leaf

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Black cod, salsa verde, green grapes

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Wagyu beef, pickled onion

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Smoked squab breast served with spiced cranberry sauce, quince simmered in cranberry juice, pickled Japanese turnips and charred scallion, and sourdough flour tortillas

Yes, it's the same squab from which the broth was made.

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Foie gras churro, with foie gras mousse, cinnamon sugar, served with hot milk chocolate infused with cinnamon, Lustau sherry and coffee.

By the time I remembered to take a pic, I'd eaten half of the churro. Dunk the churro into the chocolate.

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Dulce de leche spooned atop pear sorbet with chunks of Asian pear, macadamia nut butter

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Pecan ice cream, candied pecans, shortbread cookie, apples, clarified butter

The cookie was on top of the apples. Break the cookie and spoon everything over.

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Cherry extract digestif, vermouth, sweet Mexican lime

We'll definitely return. I'm an instant fan.

Californios
3115 22nd Street (South Van Ness)
Mission District

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A little bird told me Californios is taking over the gorgeous Bar Agricole space.  Thankfully it's got a big front patio, but still seems like a really optimistic move for them.  That place is huge.

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