It has been a little while since I have gotten this excited about a new restaurant. It’s just that Xokol is so much more than just a restaurant. This humble Tortillería and Antojería is a living museum run by world-class chefs who are fighting to preserve ancient ingredients. Corn is the most important ingredient in the national gastronomy, a source of national identity, and yet most people have tasted few varieties. Xokol is one of the most important restaurants in Mexico and I say this after visiting Enrique Olvera’s Molino de Pujol in Mexico City.
Time has stood still at Xokol. They couldn’t care less that a genetically engineered corn will produce more tons per acre planted. The genetically modified version doesn’t taste as good as their heirloom varietals. Chef Oscar Segundo comes from a Mazahua community in Mexico State that is famous for their corn and their kitchen. The mural in their dining room is an homage to his 80 year old grandmother who still actively participates in the farming.
Traditional Mexican Ingredients
Corn is the base of just about everything in Xokol. You will sample the best tortillas you have ever tasted, and you should take some home. But corn is just the beginning of the story. The menu constantly changes but they are using ingredients that no restaurant in Guadalajara has access to. The quelites are mouth watering. The tomate verde (I know them as tomatillos, but have never tried them like this) are served raw in a green salad and taste like green apples.
Chefs Oscar Segundo and Xrysw Ruelas have an amazing vision of what Mexican Food is. They know where to find the best ingredients but they also have worked in some of North America’s best restaurants. The presentation of these treasures is layered with delicate precision. Each plate is meticulously planned thinking of the visual component, different textures and aromas.
While there are competent servers, it is awesome when the chef comes out to tell stories and share the cultural side of his food. There is nothing separating the kitchen from the dining room and the space can get a little hot. There is a small room in the back of the restaurant where they are preparing the corn masa, or nixtamal.
I recommend that you share dishes because you will get to try more. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things. There are so many ingredients that most of us have never tasted or even heard of. This is your chance to try some very classical Mexican food.
The Menu In Photos
Calle Ignacio Herrera y Cairo 1392, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara
Restaurant Open From 6pm to 11pm Monday thru Saturday