Slick New Mi Cocina Restaurant Opens on Cherry Street

By on October 5, 2011

Think about restaurants, think about Tex-Mex, and you’ll probably get an image of a lazy, cheerful little cantina with sombreros on lollipop-colored walls, indifferent food and service, and killer margaritas. Walk through the sculpted cast-iron doors of Mi Cocina, and those images will be forever dispelled.

Mi Cocina, the first branch outside Texas of an upscale Dallas mini-chain, is slick, modern and elegant, with platoons of blue-uniformed waiters eager to serve you. “It’s my first time here,” I told one of them. This wasn’t surprising since it was opening night. “I guess it’s your first night too.” “Oh no,” he said. “We’ve been training for two weeks.” It showed. At many restaurants, opening night is a Marx Brothers comedy. But Mi Cocina ran like a well-oiled machine.

The food is superior too. You’ll find all the Tex-Mex basics here — in fact, one section of the menu is named “Tex-Mex Basics” — but taken to a higher level and plated with elegance. I ordered chicken enchiladas ($13).

Yes, that’s mole on top, made in house of 25 ingredients. I’ve written about those rich, complex sauces, the glory of Mexican cuisine (and if you haven’t seen what I wrote, you can read it here: http://tulsafood.com/south-tulsa/mole-poblano-at-tres-amigos-mexican-grill ) Now the mole here was by no means the best I’ve ever had, but it was certainly a worthy contender, with notes of cinnamon, chili and chocolate. The enchiladas themselves were a bit dry and lacked flavor, but the sauce made up for that. The rice, the beans, and the crunchy homemade cole slaw were all way above average. Even if you ordered something horrible, you’d come out ahead if it had those side dishes with it.

It seems to me that nothing is horrible, though. In fact, Cathe’s order was even better than mine and I’m glad she let me have a taco. (And as always, when we needed an extra plate for that taco, the attentive waitstaff had it done in a flash.) She got Tacos de Brisket. ($13).

You can’t tell from the photo but each taco is stuffed with rich, tender, moist brisket. I’m not sure whether the brisket is braised, simmered or oven-roasted but it takes many hours to make. The result is worth it. Cathe was thrilled with the salad, loaded with avocado and cherry tomatoes.

Betty got a mixed plate of tacos and enchiladas ($11).

I didn’t get a taste — and I was full enough that I didn’t want one — but it surely looked fine. We did make room for flan — that’s the dessert, unless you get pralines. It was so good that we ate it all before we even thought of taking a photo.

Mi Cocina
1342 E. 15 St.
287-2888
http://www.mcrowd.com/micocina.html
Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM (weekends till 11 PM)

Brian Schwartz: Author

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com

I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola.

“A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

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