Nopalito (San Francisco, CA)

Nopalito
306 Broderick St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Dining date: 11/30/14

signage

Nopalito is the sister restaurant to ever-popular Nopa, located just a few blocks away (though there is a second location of Nopalito in the Inner Sunset). Whereas Nopa serves New American cuisine (that pork chop!), Nopalito serves up modernized Mexican fare. Tacos, quesadillas, ceviche and other Mexican flavors – they’re all here with a slight twist.

I really enjoy Nopa so naturally a visit to Nopalito was due. We came here on my last evening in SF during the Thanksgiving holiday on an evening when it was pouring rain. The rain clearly helped convince people to stay home as we had only a minimal wait for a table on this Sunday evening.

interior

Tacos de Pescado al Pastor two tacos of seared fish in ancho chile adobo, orange, onion, cilantro and salsa de morita y tomatillo

Tacos de Pescado al Pastor Two tacos of seared fish in ancho chile adobo, orange, onion, cilantro and salsa de morita y tomatillo

These tacos were great with seared fish that was moist, complemented by citrus and other fresh, aromatic flavors.

Huarache de Huitlacoche y Hongos oval-shaped blue corn tortilla, pinquito beans, corn truffle, mushrooms, onion, jalapeño, fresh epazote, queso fresco, crema and salsa chiltomate

Huarache de Huitlacoche y Hongos Oval-shaped blue corn tortilla, pinquito beans, corn truffle, mushrooms, onion, jalapeño, fresh epazote, queso fresco, crema and salsa chiltomate

Plenty of rich, earthy flavors were present in this huarache.

Quesadilla Roja con Chicharrón Mulato chile-corn tortilla, crispy pork belly, salsa cascabel, jack cheese, queso fresco, onion and cilantro

Quesadilla Roja con Chicharrón Mulato chile-corn tortilla, crispy pork belly, salsa cascabel, jack cheese, queso fresco, onion and cilantro

The quesadilla was crispy, with tender pork belly and oozing cheeses. A bright, fresh salsa with fresh onions and cilantro helped to balance out the richness while crunchy chicharron was a fantastic textural element.

Carne Asada con Chorizo y Nopales grilled marinated sirloin steak, house made red chorizo, seared cactus, jalapeño, onion, refried black beans, Oaxacan cheese and salsa pasilla

Carne Asada con Chorizo y Nopales Grilled marinated sirloin steak, house made red chorizo,seared cactus, jalapeño, onion, refried black beans, Oaxacan cheese and salsa pasilla

The carne asada was decent, tender but I thought it could’ve been more flavorful. A myriad of accompanying toppings joined the steak with piping hot tortillas. The chorizo and nopales cactus were a treat.

Carnitas braised pork, orange, bay leaf, milk, cinnamon, beer, cabbage salad, pickled jalapeño and salsa de tomatillo

Carnitas Braised pork, orange, bay leaf, milk, cinnamon, beer, cabbage salad, pickled jalapeño and salsa de tomatillo

Carnitas were crispy and full of flavor to go along with another bag of hot tortillas. The tomatillo salsa was a difference-maker.

Paletas chocolate and blue bottle cafe con leche

paletas

I really enjoyed the cafe con leche, having a strong coffee flavor as advertised. The chocolate popsicle had a bit too many other flavors going on for me.

Nopalito presented some solid food. The fish tacos, quesadilla and Blue Bottle popsicle were the highlights in my opinion. Living in Los Angeles, I’m rather spoiled by good Mexican food but Nopalito held its own.


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