What is in this article?:
- Two masters tackle mod Mex
- See more food and drinks at Copita
Restaurateurs Larry Mindel and Joanne Weir have made their name with Italian and Mediterranean ventures, but they're taking their first crack at Mexican with Copita Tequileria Y Comida.
See more food and drinks at Copita
The eight-item small plate lineup includes Mexico City-style Quesadillas (filled with Yukon gold potatoes and house-made chorizo, queso fresco and crema, $8); a Trio of Tamalitas (chicken verde, pork adobo, asparagus, English peas, cotija and queso fresco, $9); and 24-hour Carnitas (guacamole, tomatillo salsa, homemade corn tortillas, $12). Chips and guacamole go for $8, as do both Tortilla and Roasted Chicken Soups.
The three-item taco list includes seared California Snapper (pickled red and green cabbage, avocado crema, pineapple salsa, $12); and Wild Mushrooms (epazote and queso fresco cheese, $9). Among the four ceviche choices are Halibut (mango, cucumber, onion, cilantro, $13); and Shrimp Aguachile (chile Serrano, lime, cucumber, cilantro water, red onions and avocado ($12).
The food at Copita is top-notch, but there’s a reason “Tequileria” comes first in the restaurant’s tag line. Weir has tequila expertise like few others, and they’re leveraging it to the max at Copita.
Customers who like their tequila straight up can take their pick of 87 specialty tequilas. Copita makes them available in several formats:
• Flights provide three one-ounce sampling portions of selected tequilas (the “Best of Class” delivers Tesora Blanco, Tres Agaves Reposado and Herradura Anejo for $16).
• Sipping portions are two ounces served in small glasses (i.e., copitas) of 100 percent agave blanco, reposado or anejo tequilas. Prices vary.
• The six-item cocktail list, each drink made from 100 percent blue agave tequilas (the Mexican 75, siete leguas blanco, sparkling wine, lime juice, agave nectar costs $12; the house Margarita is $9).
Eight beers (four on tap) and nine wines (one of them a chardonnay that bears Weir’s proprietary label) round out the alcoholic beverage items. House-made agua frescas and 100 percent natural homemade sodas concocted from local seasonal ingredients headline the nonalcoholic drink offerings.
Copita’s food reflects Mindel’s and Weir’s California cuisine sensibilities. Items and ingredients change with the seasons, and there’s lots of grilling and roasting. The idea is to offer destination-quality flavors in a casual atmosphere. The menu per se doesn’t break much new culinary ground, but the flavor profiles and just-picked ingredients make each item stand out.
So take heart if you dream about tackling a new cuisine or concept that seems to be outside your current expertise. Mindel and Weir are showing at Copita that once you master a certain restaurant segment, you’re probably ready for the next one.