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Carne Asada: Marinated flank steak as culinary mullet:—dynamite mole verde on the bottom; creamy Asian peanut sauce popping with red chile and peppercorns up top—all surprisingly delicious. The meat shared the stage with a crunchy tangle of radicchio slaw, some of the city’s best, creamiest black beans, and the funky-sweet burn of green onion-laced peach kimchi. Wrap it all up in one of Xico’s fragrant tortillas and let your eyes roll back in your head with happiness.
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Watermelon Salad and Fried Corn: Meyer’s flew solo for an add on salad that goosed juicy melon cubes dressed with queso fresco, avocado, and peppery arugula with a major pop of chile heat. Ware’s lone wolf response? Fresh fried corn slicked with toasty-hot Korean spiced mayo and adorned with frizzy shallots and Japanese furikake seasoning (a Smallwares staple)—each bite an explosion of hot, sweet, crunchy ridiculousness. This is street food heaven.
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Three Ceviches: Fresh albacore and avocado sprinkled with nori perched atop the world’s finest toasty, soy-caramelized rice cake while tender octopus hid under Oaxacan chile marinated cubes of kohlrabi, potato, and zucchini, plus seaweed and bits of mizuna. A zingy, super-fresh mole verde and threads of Thai basil turned simple spot prawns and cherry tomatoes into happy shout of summer flavors.
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Chawan & Chalupa: The team topped Ware’s impossibly silky, savory Japanese custard with a crumble of fiercely spicy chorizo while Meyer’s masa tortillas got a quick trip to the deep fryer and a crown of chicken, puckery mole, and pickled fennel.
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Chawan & Chalupa
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Ginger Cake: A deceptively adorable square of “cake” from Xico’s talented pastry chef Mindy Keith yielded a gut punch of layered flavor, from nubby coconut flaked ginger cake and smooth coconut flan to peanut curry cream and chile ginger crunchies.
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