Tuesday, February 19, 2013

South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen and Bar, San Clemente, CA



South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen and Bar was an ultra modern spot in a beach local.  The service was above par.  Each salsa was homemade with bite of peppers to measure the palate.  The ultra hot had a smoky flavor but the show stopper was the hibiscus pomegranate ice tea.  It was a home run. 

The seafood enchiladas were covered in salsa Verde with a hit of cream to soften the texture and flavor.  It was prepared not only with shrimp but scallops and real crab not “krab”.  Bell peppers where blended in the seafood mixture along with green chilies.  However, a touch of cream was added just to mellow out the flavors.  Nothing was lost on the preparation or plating of the dish.  It was a true masterpiece of flavor. 

Chicken mole’ enchilada was truly from Mexico City.  The mole’ was made with bitter chocolate as it should be with a hint of spices and touch of jalapeños.  The chef took liberties by adding a touch of cinnamon to kick it up a notch.  Yes you can re-event the wheel.  I have looked high and low from California to Texas to find old Mexico and I found it at South of Nick’s.

The shrimp cocktail was old school served with saladitas, crackers to those of you unfamiliar with the traditional saltine.  The shrimp was juicy and tender mixed with lime and cilantro.  It seemed be well thought out however I am still on the fence of what appeared to taste like clamato, a reconstituted tomato juice.  The flavor was there just a little bit of texture was missing as I do not usually like my cocktail sauce so watery.

In total South of Nick’s I would give 4 forks up.  Service was excellent but the spin on Old Mexico could not be beat.

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