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Tacos El Gordo recommended by a local. Lengua, good; I was surprised that the tripa was crunchy. On closer inspection of course it wasn’t tripe (English) or callos (Spanish) but what Dominicans call tripitas. Intestines slow cooked then crisped on the grill. Very good too.



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So The Desmond was a dinner of two halves. On the second floor of a Kimpton Hotel, it had the look of fine dining…

The service was the over-enthusiastic, cheerleading kind. My server explained that the menu had ingredients from many cuisines and offered to help me with my “vocabulary.” She congratulated me on picking her favorite wines. That kind of thing.

I decided to ask the captain about the “floral congee.” I told him I knew what congee was, but what was floral about this one? He didn’t know. He thought it might be how the “rice cake” was garnished. I think he needed help with his vocabulary.

Anyway I ordered the dish. Dungeness crab with what (happily) was a congee. Not much flavor to anything. Some nigella seed crackers that seemed stale.

The wine list was mysterious. Items called “red blend.” No vintages. Two Coravin selections, one a red at $30 a glass. I looked it up and it’s $28 a bottle. Maybe this was a prized vintage; wouldn’t know from the list.

Then it all turned on a dime. The beef cheek was excellent, served on a thick, unrefined but tasty guajillo tomatillo sauce. You could make “tacos” by wrapping it in Moroccan baghrir, freshly made pancakes with crisp edges; unsuitable for my diet but quite delicious.

A glass of Inniskillen for dessert.

I even started liking the service. The cost was better than I expected but I was probably comped (knowingly or not) at least one glass of wine.



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