Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frida Bistro


It was social media that lured us into Frida Bistro for the first time the other day. Frida Bistro check-in traffic and comments kept taking over my Facebook newsfeed from friends I forgot I had. I was intrigued and finally begged my bro to schlep down to the industrial side of downtown Salt Lake City to meet me for lunch to see what the fuss was about. We were pleasantly surprised.
The vibe inside was a delightful mess of lowbrow coffeehouse wall art, dolled up with cloth napkins, black table linens, wine bottle displays and oversized white platters for food presentation. Bro and I loved the atmosphere immediately when recognized a Justice mix. Who doesn't love eating to a French house playlist?! Oh yes, we like.  
Aguacate con Cangrejo, $13.  This was an enormous pile of perfectly seasoned spiced lump blue crab on top of half an avocado and guajillo vinaigrette. I appreciated how tasty this was as it is so easy to ruin lumb crabmeat by not seasoning it properly. Although it was very good, it was missing a chippy crunch. 
We got their delicious flavored ice tea...can't remember the flavor?
Ceviche de Atun, $10.  This was more of a tropical fruity tartare than a ceviche, and disguised as pico de gallo. This could have been extraordinary, but the big bowl plating, the teeny spoon and the overcrowding of the chips made it annoyingly difficult to eat.
In the back was a salsa bar. I am a sucker for get-it-yourself salsa. They had five salsas and various toppings like chopped cilantro, peppers, pickled onion and caramelized onion. The salsas were very good but the toppings were impossible to reach and scoop. They ought to replace those useless forks with tongs (or, better yet, chopsticks!). Do you know how impossible it is to pick up chopped cilantro from a deep cylinder under this glass cover with a fork?
These onions were the bomb and, actually, the most memorable. We could have eaten the entire container of these caramelized onions.
Enchiladas de Pollo with Mole Negro and Black Beans. $12.  This Mole Negro contained a complex mix of awesome Oaxacan flavorssugary, chocolaty, garlicky and loaded with chili and other nutty spices. Some of the best mole I've ever had. Even though the mole totally killed it, this very dished confirmed my total aversion to shredded chicken breast (dry and flavorless). (My problem, not Frida's, btw. I tried to ignore the shredded white meat and fantasized having this insane Mole Negro poured over dark meat and shrimp. Omg!)
Tacos de Pescado with Arroz Blanco, $14.  The battered halibut and jalapeno balsamic aioli on mini corn tortillas resembled and tasted like fish 'n chips. Not bad, but not mind-blowing either. The arroz blanco, white Mexican rice, was excellent, a refreshing and elegant choice over the usual reddish tomato-flavored rice.
Tacos a la Raul with Ranchero Beans, $12.  Bite-sized chunks of achiote marinated pork served with pineapple and corn tortillas were pretty tasty. The beans were packed with rich porky fatty chunks.
Classic Flan.  The flan was a little too dense for my liking. And by the time this came out we were so crazy full we could barely move.
The backroom had more eclectic Frida-esque art and decor. It's nice to finally be able to enjoy some classic upscale Mexican grub with great music and linens 'n tablecloths in downtown Salt Lake City, right off the I-15 freeway exit to downtown.
xoxo
Frida Bistro on Urbanspoon

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