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Mezcalito Oaxacan Cuisine

187 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 160, Folsom, 916-351-0900, 
Those of us who have been fans of Rocklin’s Mezcalito knew it wouldn’t be long until the best little Oaxacan restaurant in our area expanded. Fortunately for Folsomites, you’re about to find out what Placer County residents have been trying (unsuccessfully) to keep secret.
Last November, owners Ruben and Francisco opened a second, much larger location in Folsom. The menu retains many of the same dishes diners at the Rocklin locale love, with a few more welcome additions (including cochinita pibil, pollo a la crema, and a prawn picante buritto).
I started with chips and fresh salsa and then fortified my appetizer craving with their queso fundido. Soft, gooey, melted Monterey Jack cheese with slices of roasted pasilla pepper, caramelized onions, and the kicker: chorizo. My companion commented (and I was already sizing it up) how you could put it in a tortilla, add an egg, and call it breakfast (with a Michelada, too...maybe?).
Chicken Chilli Relleno

Since I’ve previously reviewed portions of their menu, I strayed from my go-to items and tested the chicken chili relleno. I’m not usually a fan of things fried in egg batter, but this was a pleasant surprise. Lightly battered mild pasilla pepper, shredded chicken, and some surprise additions of raisins and almonds (Oaxacan-style) in a tomato broth resulted in a definite upgrade to the typical chili-cheese rendition and was good enough to make an egg batter convert out of me.
I just happened to be craving a savory bowl of soup when I spotted the sopa Puerto Escondido heading out to another diner’s table. In a matter of minutes, I had my own steaming vessel of “hidden harbor soup” in front of me with all its seaworthy mates—tender cod, mussels, wild prawns, salmon, and vegetables—in a chipotle-plum, tomato-based broth. Slightly spicy and hearty but not too heavy—like it’s French or Italian cousins can be—it hit the mark.
Finally came the dessert round, and once again, I eschewed my favorites (churros and ice cream) and opted for something I hadn’t tried before, the Kahlúa cake—a decadent, pyramid-shaped sphere of chocolate ganache blanketing a velvety treasure of Kahlúa-infused mousse with an espresso dulce de leche drizzle. “Two forks please,” I said to my server, “I can’t do this alone!”
Well Folsom, the secret’s out—now go out and try it for yourself. 
Queso Fundido

Hours: 10:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. (Sunday); 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. (Monday-Saturday)
Try This: Queso Fundido, Enmoladas, Carnitas, Chicken Chili Relleno, Surf and Turf Molcajete, Sopa Puerto Escondido, Coastal Rice, Vegan Rice Bowl, Mezcalito Salad, Kahlúa Cake
Drinks: *Beer & wine
Tab: $$
Heads-Up: Patio; catering available; vegan and gluten-free options; kids’ menu; happy hour Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m.; burittos and tacos available upon request
*At press time; liquor license coming soon

by Lorn Randall
photos by Menka Belgal