Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Petty Cash Taqueria: Kraken, Pig Ears, Mexican Spirits You' ve Never Heard Of

The new Petty Cash Taqueria is a collaboration between the north and south side of the border. Beloved chef Walter Manzke's pig ear nachos sit on the same menu as Tijuana's popular Tacos Kokopelli's kraken tacos. Bill Esparza tries to spice up the spirits program with little known Bacanora from Sonora (it's a sister of tequila made from a different type of agave). You will see a giant jug of a clear spirit sitting on the bar. It will either be this bacanora or something equally as interesting they managed to get their hands on.

Manzke's pig ear nachos appeared at Colonial Wine Bar for a pop-up once and people raved. Now, you can get it anytime here. The nachos and pig ears are topped with a runny egg and crema poblano ($12)

Crispy nachos, chewy pig ear, just enough going on here. There's a reason why this dish is so popular, try it for yourself!

A perfect snack for a big party is the Cheesy Churros with green Mole-corn dip ($5)
Cheesy Churros
Yes, savory Churros covered in cheese!
(The texture wasn't quite "churros" but it's certainly a puffy fried dough, so that counts.) There are plenty of churros in one order, but it was so hard to stop eating them.

The cocktail list isn't as big as Playa's was but there are still interesting drinks to try like the Oaxacan Old Fashioned (made with tequila and mezcal). I went with a lighter Banana Hammock (Petty Cash rum blend, banana infusion, lime, tamarind, cassia, dehydrated banana chip, $10)

A sweeter tiki drink that's a crowd pleaser. The sour tamarind is not that strong here, getting mostly the sweeter banana.

You must get the chicharrones with pineapple-carrot hot sauce ($6). The chicharrones come to the table still popping and crackling

Such crispy, hot, porky awesomeness.

Iced "North of the Border" oysters, jalapeno, lime (6 for $18)

Taking a turn towards the lighter seafood are these fresh oysters, with their clean taste accentuated by a drop of jalapeno and lime.

My favorite may well be the aguachile served in a molcajete (a stone mortar). You can choose 3 or more of the seafood to go in here starting from kanpachi to clams to uni. I got ours with kanpachi ($12, 2 oz), Octopus ($8, 2 oz), Live Santa Barbara prawn ($12/pc)

Fresh seafood, great aguachile broth. How can you go wrong?

Tacos are $4 (or 3 for $11, 6 for $21), except the Baja Fish taco which costs an extra $1. The most popular is "The Kraken" (grilled octopus, charred chile de arbol, peanuts) from the Kokopelli guys but I've had that before so I wanted to try something else.

I originally ordered the special grasshopper with cheese tacos but alas, they were out, so I got another special instead: Al Pastor ($5 I think)

The tortillas here are made fresh. In fact you can probably catch the tortilla girl cranking them out behind the bar. Wonderful street style al pastor. It's pricier than taco trucks for sure but sometimes it's nice to sit down and have a taco with an Old Fashioned, and the meat is higher quality.

Vegetarians don't need to shy away from Petty Cash. Their portobello mushroom taco is loved even by non-vegetarians: Charcoal-roasted Portobello mushroom, asparagus, jack cheese, pipian
Finally, a vegetarian taco that can stand up to meat tacos out there. It's full of earthy flavor and the crisped cheese adds a nice texture contrast.

Petty Cash Taqueria is worth a visit for either of the two reasons alone: to get Tacos Kokopelli's tacos north of the border, or for Walter Manzke's playful take on Mexican food. Together, and add some obscure Mexican spirits and well crafted cocktails, this would be a hot spot for an inexpensive dinner in West Hollywood.

Petty Cash Taqueria
7360 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5300
Petty Cash Taqueria on Urbanspoon


Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital