Yesterday afternoon I met my friend CR for lunch in Yaletown near where she works. We just picked a place close by called El Azteca Modern Tequila Lounge; it opened over a month ago for dinner, but recently is now offering lunch. I hadn’t seen her in awhile and we had a lot of catching up to do. Upon being handed the menus, we both asked for recommendations, which the waiter happily gave. When we were supposed to be looking at the menu, we weren’t. He had to come back twice before we convinced him to stay while we made some final choices. But he didn’t seem to mind.
Between CR’s news and my somewhat rambling updates, we enjoyed three dishes, which we shared. The first was an appetizer, queso fundido with chorizo. Essentially melted cheese with crumbled spicy sausage that you put it on a tortilla and then roll up before eating, it was a good start to the meal. The second dish was carne en su jugo (small pieces of flank steak simmered in a sauce containing beans and pieces of bacon). While it was a shade on the salty side, it didn’t stop me from cleaning up my bowl. My friend suggested I eat it in the traditional manner with a tortilla – a spoonful of carne en su jugo and a bite of tortilla – however she didn’t mention it until I was halfway through. This was followed by ceviche tostadas, beautifully presented on a crunchy tostada that included cubes of fish and pieces of avocado. And as an accompanying cocktail, we had a Luna de Miel.
The El Azteca Modern Tequila Lounge is a good place for food and conversation. The restaurant has cozy feel – warm, inviting and comfortable. We were there for lunch, but I’d love to go back for dinner and sample more of the restaurant’s authentic Mexican food. I’d especially like to go back for some dessert as well, since we didn’t have the time to sample some on my first visit.