Take a Peek at PuestoNov 13, 2018 12:50PM ● By Fran Miller
BY FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER
Who doesn’t love Mexican cuisine? The guacamole, the tacos, the margaritas... Our mouths water just thinking about the vibrant flavors. Now imagine your guacamole sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano, or mixed with pomegranate, mango, chile de arbol, and candied walnuts. How about a taco filled with filet mignon, and a margarita made with Casa Noble Crystal organic tequila? These are the signature flavors of Puesto, the newest tenant of The Veranda shopping center in Concord.
Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar, the celebrated Mexico City-influenced restaurant with outposts in San Diego, Santa Clara, and Irvine, is now ours to explore and enjoy – and the bountiful menu begs for repeat visits. Family owned and operated by ‘Tacoteur’ brothers Eric, Alan & Alex Adler alongside cousins Isidoro and Moy Lombrozo, and Partner/Executive Chef Luisteen Gonzalez, Puesto features unique combinations of authentic Mexican flavors made with fresh, local ingredients. The team regularly travels to Mexico to draw inspiration from local flavors and spices and to scope local wines and craft breweries for the Puesto menu.
As first generation Mexican-Americans, the Adler brothers have been immersed in authentic Mexican cooking since birth. The trio opened its first Puesto in La Jolla in 2012 and the restaurant quickly became a California dining institution. Puesto is the three-time winner of the People’s Choice Award at LA Weekly’s Tacolandia in 2015, 2016 & 2017, 'Best Tacos' and 'Best Mexican' by San Diego Magazine and is a regular on Eater San Diego's 'Essential 38' list year after year.
One taste, and it’s easy to see why. Puesto’s creative taco offerings feature handmade, non-GMO organic, maíz azul stone-ground tortillas, sustainable meats, local produce, and scratch salsas. A favorite, the Filet Mignon taco includes signature crispy melted cheese, avocado, and topped with spicy pistachio serrano. A vegetarian option is the Verduras with rajas, papas, corn & tomato, nopales, and avocado wrapped in crispy melted cheese topped with a zucchini blossom. Desserts include modern twists on authentic Mexican favorites including Tres Leches de Cafe, mascarpone whip, mocha sauce, dulce de fresas, and the standout Coconut Crema Trifle, devil’s food cake, coconut crema, peanut butter crunch bar, and Mexican chocolate gelato. And don't miss the Corn Ice Cream with Strawberry Jam Swirl and White Chocolate Cookie Crunch made exclusively in collaboration with San Francisco favorite Humphry Slocombe.
Puesto’s craft bar program features a curated list of agave spirits sourced from various regions of Mexico. Signature cocktails include the Puesto Perfect Margarita with blue agave reposado tequila, lime and agave, La Rosita with house-made strawberry-cilantro infused vodka, lemon and cane sugarand a changing Cocktails of the Season. Puesto also offers local and Mexican microbrews on draft alongside wines discovered on the team’s Valle de Guadalupe travels. Frozen horchata and seasonal agua frescas are made from scratch daily.
And if the delicious food and drink don’t tempt, the restaurant’s eye-catching design is reason enough for a visit. Designed by Paul Basile of BASILE Studio, the interior features a custom dual layer mural by famed Bay Area graffiti artist Chor Boogie and a 750-square-foot Douglas fir wall with a custom electronic light show that frames electrically actuated windows opening to the patio. At the bar, the overhead interactive liquor storage system operates at the push of a button to lower stored bottles to the bartender. Also showcased are the ‘Taco Heaven’ chandelier, balsa wood tabletops with warm copper inlay, and a chef’s table for special events.
Puesto is fun; it’s festive; it’s Mexican food unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.
2035 Diamond Blvd., Concord
Interior photos by Auda & Coudayre Photography
Food and beverage photos by Dylan + Jeni