500 Tacos: Molcas Mexican Restaurant
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Molcas Mexican Restaurant
Hours: 7am-10pm daily, until 10:30pm Friday; breakfast until 11am weekdays, until 3pm weekdays
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.03.15
On the back wall of Molcas hangs a multipanel artwork with polka dots and pastel color blocks that triggered my proximal memory, and looking at my photo archives, it’s the same piece that used to hang on the wall at Mirabelle, the late iconic restaurant that once shared this shopping center on Mesa Drive with Molcas. The Mirabelle space has been two other restaurants since it closed a few years ago, soon to be another Galaxy Cafe. This would make a more tidy narrative arc if Molcas had carried over Mirabelle’s hacked chicken salad and duck paté. No. Just a home for family-style Tex-Mex — and refugee art.
The taco: Migas
Molcas pitches itself as “The Migas King,” with versions that fold in chorizo and fajitas and transform like breakfast Autobots into enchiladas and omelets. The taco version is bright, filling and good, in a simple way, with red tortilla strips and a mince of onions, peppers and tomatoes in hard-scrambled eggs, crowned with cheddar-jack cheese. A royal value at $1.99.
► Punching the taco clock: The best of the other tacos at Molcas was lightly breaded fried avocado with black beans, lettuce and tomato. Pork al pastor was mushy from its sour, grassy marinade, and barbacoa was wet and gamey rather than fatty and lush. Pork carnitas were dry, chippy and almost flavorless. ($2.50 each)
► Tortillas: Homemade. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The word “homemade” appears on the menu 33 times in relation to dishes with tortillas. But nobody’s home. Just the most basic stiff, white, commercial flour and doubled-up white corn tortillas you’d buy in any “home” factory.
► Salsa: A dripcut jar clogs up with chunky tomato-and-onion red with medium jalapeño heat, like a fresher version of grocery shelf salsa.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)