The revolution being experienced in Mexican cuisine is that our stomachs are no longer relegated to only street tacos; elevated Mexican food is taking the cuisine to new heights and DTLA’s Mezcalero is continuing that tradition with its recent opening near the up-and-coming intersection of 5th and Broadway.
“The idea of Mez is to return it all back to basics,” said owner Jay Krymis. “We wanted to offer simple, fantastic tacos with skillfully made, unique drinks. Simple as that. It’s a sexy, no-apologies kinda place where we want you to hang out as much as enjoy the food.”
From baby octopus to nopales, Mez’s tacos aim for sophistication without losing the accessibility—or playfulness. Their fried chicken taco, topped with watermelon salsa and buttermilk dressing, is a southern picnic basket wrapped in a tortilla. And their beef tenderloin taco? It’s tortilla is edged with fried cheese to remind you of the favorite part of a quesadilla. Not to be left out, the Elote is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite on the menu.
When it comes to drinks, perhaps it is here where Mezcalero shines best.—so forget the bucket of Tecate.
Bar program director Nathan McCullough—who already heads owner Jay Krymis’ Latin restaurant Padre in Long Beach—is also lifting up the mighty Mexican Cocktail. And he isn’t just making concoctions that are Mexican solely through their use of tequila or mezcal. Rather, McCullough is conjuring up everything from huitlacoche and mazapan syrups to drinks inspired from the gardens of Oaxaca and burnt tortillas.
“Being playful and intelligent is really what I am aiming for with Mez,” McCullough said. “And that’s a hard mix to achieve but with all the farmers markets and local grub spots, DTLA somewhat acts as my muse.”
McCullough’s experience include working behind the bar of San Diego’s Bracero Cocina de Raiz, Chef Javier Plascencia’s much-lauded high-end Mexican joint and apprenticed under the direction of Christian Siglin, one of San Diego’s most respected and renowned bar director. Other work includes heading the program at La Puerta, a Sinaloense joint that focused heavily on the tequila and mescal that Mez is offering.
Cocktails already making a name for themselves include McCullough’s “Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em” cocktail, made of a charcoal-colored burnt tortilla syrup, roasted corn-infused Maestro Dobel tequila, a wine aperitif, cinnamon, and fresh celery and lime juice. Add a sophisticated list of Mezcal and Tequila’s and Mezcalero DTLA is a must-go destination for Mexican drink enthusiasts all over the city.
The somewhat hidden location offers an outdoor patio, main bar area and dining room all decorated with interesting fixtures and murals by Jeffrey Bertollini, all in the heart of DTLA’s Historic Core.
Happy Hour is EVERYDAY from 3-7pm
Monday is Mezcal Monday with 50% off most Mezcals
Tuesdays is $3 Tacos & 50% off most Mezcals
Mezcal Tasting events and memberships coming soon.
See Facebook Page for details and seasonal specials.
Mezcalero is located at 510 S. Broadway in DTLA.