Enter Mexicano, the freshly minted restaurant from prominent Chefs Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu and find a beautiful wood bar backed by sky blue tiles. A massive mural depicts important people in the lives of the owners, along with famous Mexicans from throughout history. This is clearly a colorful restaurant, as Angelenos will find out in December, and that’s not just a result of the setting, but also due to what’s on the plate and in the glass.
Yes, this is the first time that Jaime and Ramiro have had a full alcohol permit to play with, and they worked with bartender Gilbert Marquez on the alcohol program, which features straight pours of agave-based spirits like tequila, mezcal and sotol, Mexican-influenced cocktails, and in a fun, divergent twist, alcoholic raspados, which they’re calling Raspados Alegres.
These “happy” drinks feature crushed ice and flavored syrups, just like the popular Mexican summertime treat, but in this case, the syrups are house-made, spiked and mixed with complementary ingredients. The first three raspados to make the menu showcase quintessential Mexican flavors: Vainilla, Tamarindo and Jamaica.
The Vanilla raspado combines syrup made in-house with vanilla beans, cinnamon- and raisin-infused tequila, and orange juice. If rompope got drunk on tequila and hooked up with Orange Julius, you might end up with something like this drink.
The Tamarind raspado features sweet, tart and slightly sour chamoy, made in-house and teamed with tamarind syrup, salt, sugar and mezcal. The garnish is a dried ancho chile, which contributes smoky spice.
Finally, the Hibiscus Flower raspado features tangy house-made hibiscus flower syrup, tequila, cucumber and spicy chile pequin.
These raspados are a fun way to kick off the evening or could easily double as dessert (particularly Vainilla). In either case, grab a seat at Mexicano’s bar and enjoy a Raspado Alegre with Pancho Villa or Frida Kahlo, who are both watching from the wall.