Saturday, May 08, 2010

This is what I ate #7

Ox Tail Risotto, originally uploaded by savemejebus.

Honestly, look at that picture and tell me that isn't the sexiest thing that has appeared in this blog--other than a picture of me, of course. That there is an ox tail risotto from Mo-Chica, the Peruvian restaurant in Mercado la Paloma. I may have found my choice for my last meal in the off chance I'm about to be executed.

This was my second trip to Mo-Chica. The last time was with Marisela, but we were disappointed that they were out of ceviche, the dish Jonathan Gold and others rave about. That was two months ago. My experience then was very good, but perhaps I expected too much. I wasn't disappointed but I thought the food would be even better than it was. I know, high expectations.

I got it in my head to go to the First Fridays concert at the Natural History Museum. The Tallest Man on Earth, a new favorite of mine, and Gamble House--among the members is a neighbor of FJ's I met at one of his parties--were playing. I had to eat dinner anyway, so I hatched a plan to check out Mo-Chica again before the show.
Sea Bass Ceviche
Thankfully they had the ceviche tonight. And it was terrific. I liked that it wasn't overwhelmed by acid and the chunks of fish were meaty. It's definitely a good dish.

I had arrived at Mo-Chica not hungry, but knowing me, I knew I would still everything that was presented to me. For the entree I debated a long while between getting the special of the day, a cods served with peas, or something meatier. I noticed that the big menu above the counter had an entree that wasn't in the paper menu given to me--an ox tail risotto. Kare Kare is one of my favorite Filipino dishes and the thought of ox tail made me long for a taste. I'd give this dish a try and see how it compares to one of my Mom's best dishes.

I hate to say it, but this ox tail was phenomenal. Hopefully I will never have to be in the position to choose between this dish and my Mom's kare kare. Feelings will get hurt. The ox tail risotto is the most satisfying dish I've had in long while.

The ox tail was braised so well. I'm sure they cooked it for hours and miraculously did not lose the flavor. The meat literally rolled off the bone, clean and easy. With kare kare sometimes I have had to use my teeth to get every last bit of meat off the bone. No such problem here. And the meat was soft and buttery. It really did melt in my mouth. The barley risotto was a nice complement. I expected this dish to be heavy but instead the effect was light yet satisfying. I can't wait to order this again.

To wash it all down, I ordered a cebada, a barley tea with ginger and herbs.

So satisfied and pleased was I with my meal that I wasn't even disappointed when I got to the Natural History Museum and found out that the concert was sold out. Instead I shrugged and went off still craving more ox tail.

Mo-Chica is advertising a tasting menu on May 27. I may have to see what that is about.

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