WEHO MODERN MEXICAN GRILL & TEQUILERIA
From the folks that brought us Taste on Melrose and Taste at the Palisades is the lovely and leading West Hollywood Mexican grill and tequileria that is Tortilla Republic. Located near trendy Melrose on Robertson, this has become a go-to place for drinks, happy hour, and Mexican fare in WeHo.
Other than lofty and somewhat stuffy, not to mention pricey, nearby Red O Restaurant, Tortilla Republic is home to hundreds of tequilas for all palettes and delicious south of the border cuisine in a fun and casual atmosphere.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with Tableside Guacamole, an absolute must have. I love it when guacamole is made right before you. It’s a nice touch and it guarantees the freshness of your “guac.” Prepared with avocado, serrano pepper, tomatoes, white onions and cilantro, it’s made to your liking and specifications. Delicious!
If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the Salsa Tasting sampler and work your way through three tasty and fiery salsas, including salsa de mesa (regular); salsa de tomatillo fresco (made with fresh tomato); and salsa de papaya habañero (spicy papaya salsa). It really goes well with the fresh guacamole.
Next, it’s time for a drink, if you haven’t already ordered one upon sitting down (if so, I like your style). There are several margaritas and tequila-based cocktails to choose from (all made with 100% agave tequilas as no mixto tequila is ever used in house), such as the Perfect Margarita, made with Herradura Reposado, fresh sweet agave lime, Grand Marnier, and Fluer de Sel. Personally it just jumped out at me. You name a drink “perfect” and I really want to be the judge of that. Was it the greatest margarita I’ve ever had? No, but it was damn tasty. I would definitely have this bad boy again.
Looking for starter items to share, we sent with the Huarache de Hongos (mushroom flatbread), a delicious crispy corn flatbread with cremini and oyster mushrooms, roasted shallots, baby arugula, Monterey jack and Manchego cheese. Consider this another must-have dish. Your taste buds will be doing summersaults with this one.
Keep the good times going and share an order of the Duck Confit Tacos made with sour cherry salsita and shaved radish. These tasty tacos so get the job done. The flavors are just off the chart. I enjoyed the Sweet Potato Tacos too, but if you have to pick just one, after all these aren’t dollar tacos, I say go for the duck.
Time for another drink and I decided to try the Passion Chipotle Sangria, a lovely mix of 42 Below vodka, Massimo Malbec, Stirrings Triple Sec, passion puree, and chipotle powder. A big fan of Malbec, I was impressed with the sangria’s ingredients and even more so by its refreshing and satisfying flavor. Good stuff (that’s an understatement).
For our entrees, we split two favorites, starting with the Pork Chop Al Pastor—spiced caramelized pork chop, jalapeño potato purée, caramelized pineapple and onions, grilled asparagus, with al pastor sauce. This is a hearty dish, loaded with spice and flavor. If you come hungry, this one is a crowd-pleaser.
Likewise, the Short Rib “Chile Verde” made with prime all natural short rib, spicy roasted tomatillo and jalapeño chile verde sauce, and jalapeño roasted garlic potato purée is another winner. I’m a fan of chile verde, which only added to the flavor of this soft and tender, delicious cut of beef. This one is not too overwhelming but will leave you a happy camper.
While there are plenty of tempting and decadent dessert options, from churros to sweet corn cake (highly recommended), it’s no secret that I’m a fan of liquid dessert, and the Tequila Horchata, prepared with Peligroso Cinnamon, Peligroso Reposado tequila, Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon, horchata and milk, sounded foolproof to me and it didn’t disappoint. I just don’t think there’s anything better than a dessert drink because you get the best of both worlds (sweet and booze).
Weekend Brunch and daily Happy Hour are extremely popular at Tortilla Republic, happy hour in particular (5-7pm Monday and 3-7pm Tuesday through Sunday) offer cheap drinks and very discounted bites.
Tortilla Republic is located at 616 N. Robertson in West Hollywood. Open Daily. Call 310-657-9888.
By: Jose Martinez.
Photography courtesy of: Tortilla Republic