Jun 15, 2012
Francesco Agresti

Mucho Mexicano

By Kevin Mcgue

In the center of Cabo San Lucas, a resort town at the very tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, there’s a three-story monument to hedonism called El Squid Roe. At this combination bar, restaurant and dance hall, bartenders arm themselves with spray tanks of tequila and drunk American tourists dance on the tables.

The orderly office district of Marunouchi is the last place in the world that you’d expect to find even an approximation of this kind of atmosphere, but that’s exactly what the folks behind Rigoletto and Ginza’s Dazzle sought to inject into the area when they opened Mucho Mexicano last month.
Evidently word travels fast in these parts, because when we tried to make a last-minute reservation on a Thursday night, they weren’t prepared to make any guarantees of a free table. Trying again on a Monday, we expected pin-drop quiet, but were surprised to find a number of office workers already congregating around the bar when we arrived, and the place would be full by the time we left.

The first thing that caught our eye on the drink menu was the frozen margarita in a yard glass (¥1,800), but since everyone in our party had work the following day, we opted to start with the classic margarita (¥1,000), which came served in a martini glass rimmed with sea salt.

The colorful, illustrated food menu exudes the feel of a Mexican resort, and we were bowled over by the large selection of reasonably priced platillos (appetizers). We started out with Mexican pickles (¥300), orange and octopus ceviche (¥500) and sope (¥950), a vibrant plate of fillings arranged on top of cracker-sized corncakes. All of these passed muster with the Mexican-American member of our party, although she confessed that she’d never heard of “Mexican pickles.”

We were somewhat disappointed when we couldn’t find a simple order of salsa and chips on the menu, so plumped instead for the guacamole (¥900 regular, ¥1,300 large), deciding it was a good benchmark for judging any Mexican restaurant. A few minutes later, a serving station was wheeled up next to our table and we were invited to choose some avocados from a wooden bowl. Our server quickly whipped up a batch of the green stuff, adding touches of tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapeno, and threw in a side of homemade tortilla chips. The menu said the guacamole was fresh, but we weren’t expecting this.

Ready for another round of drinks but not yet ready for those yard-long margaritas, we ordered a couple of Bohemia beers (¥500) and Lisalla iced tea, a non-alcoholic cocktail of Earl Grey tea, mango syrup and pineapple juice (¥500). The selection of main dishes turned out to be just as varied and affordable as the appetizer menu. Our portions of chicken, mushroom and beef enchiladas (¥1,100 for three), chicken tacos (¥1,050/three) and beef burrito (¥950) weren’t enormous, but all the same, we were soon pushing ourselves away from the table declaring “¡no más!”

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[Menu] Menu in English and Spanish

[Price] From ¥1,500 without drinks

[Smoking] Separate smoking and nonsmoking sections

[Seats] Grab a table near the bar to soak up the lively atmosphere

 

2F Tokia Bldg, 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tel: 03-5218-2791
Open: Open Mon-Sat 11am-4am, Sun & hols 11am-11pm
Nearest stn: Tokyo
http://mucho-mexicano.jp/
www.metropolis.co.jp

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