Corazon y Miel (Bell, CA)
Corazon y Miel
6626 Atlantic Ave
Bell, CA 90201
Dining date: 4/5/14
Corazon y Miel opened just about a year ago and has been well-received in its short life. Located about 10 miles southeast of downtown in Bell, California, it’s not exactly in a part of town I think about for dining destinations. But chef Eduardo Ruiz is crafting modernized interpretations of Latin cuisine that has the whole city (and more) taking notice. Mentioned in a number of best new restaurant lists, Ruiz was recently named a semifinalist for the 2014 “Rising Star Chef of the Year” James Beard Award.
The restaurant’s menu is broken up into small and large plates, many meant to be paired with drinks. A full bar, including a unique cocktail list and a carefully crafted beer list, is available. We picked a handful of both small and large plates to share for this dinner.
Corazon y Miel
Heart and honey. The restaurant’s namesake dish featured grilled chicken hearts, slightly sweet in a honey vinaigrette, with a contrasting brightness of onions.
Jalapeño y Tocino bacon, jalapeño, chorizo, street corn salad
Crispy bacon was wrapped around jalapeno and stuffed with chorizo. I’m not sure the chorizo came through as much as advertised, but the bacon and jalapeno flavor was definitely present, offset by a tart corn salad. Luckily for me, it wasn’t too spicy.
Ensalada de Cueritos pig skin 2 ways, chili con limon, candied citrus zest
Next up was a pig skin duo. Slices of citrusy, marinated pieces of skin weren’t really my thing…too soft and gelatinous, but they were contrasted by some delightfully crisp fried pieces. Good balance of tart and spice.
Ceviche de Corazon shrimp, octopus, burnt peanut, house tortilla chip
Our last of the ‘snacks’ was this ceviche, packed with a myriad of seafood. I really liked this refreshing dish; I think there was some soy sauce, really adding to the depth on the savory side. Chips provided the crunch to go with the tender seafood.
Wild Boar Chilaquiles guajillo, roasted carrot crema, queso casera, fried egg
I thought the individual components here were good from the meaty sauce to the perfectly fried egg, but it just didn’t come together for me. The flavors, altogether, were rather murky and I could’ve used some more bright, fresh flavors to balance it out.
Asado Negro braised argentine style shortrib, white grits, sour peppers, cocoa
This was excellent. The short rib was tender and flavorful with a crispy seared edge and a delicious sauce. Grits formed a nice base to soak everything up. Maybe my favorite savory item of the evening.
Pan con Chompipe 2 pound salvadoran turkey leg sandwich
This has to be one of the most popular dishes and it was a sight to behold with its huge turkey leg at center. I found the leg to be decently moist, but not exceedingly so, and not with a ton of flavor. The sandwich altogether could’ve used more moisture too.
Boca Negra chocolate cake, chipotle custard, ancho whip
This dessert had a good deep chocolate flavor with just a bit of spicy undertone; bright raspberry provided a nice balance with the whipped cream mellowing everything out.
Mexican Popsicle coconut
This popsicle was excellent tasting exactly like coconut with just the right amount of sweetness. Very refreshing and perfectly modeled by GastronomyBlog.
I found Corazon y Miel to be a little hit or miss. I liked the desserts, short rib and ceviche but a few fell short including the chilaquiles and turkey leg sandwich. I really appreciate what Ruiz is trying to do and am happy it’s getting positive attention, but this one experience didn’t fully impress.
Agreed on all fronts, except the Ensalada de Cueritos was my fave. I like gelatinous thangs.