Los Sombreros’ New Mezcaleria Makes Waves in Mesa

Madison RutherfordApril 8, 2022
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Local food and beverage maestros Mezcal Carreño and Los Sombreros recently partnered up to prepare a four-course meal and mezcal pairing to highlight the Mesa location of Los Sombreros’ brand-new mezcaleria, a cozy space with ample seating above the restaurant where guests can enjoy mezcal tastings, cocktails, mezcal-centric events and live music.

The dinner, which took place on March 30, was the first event in the Mesa mezcaleria. The partnership between the restaurant and spirit company was a natural choice, as both companies are locally owned with roots in Oaxaca, Mexico – the birthplace of mole and mezcal.

Both were righteously represented during the dinner – the first course, shrimp ceviche, arrived with a mezcal old-fashioned shrouded in smoke. The ceviche was spicy thanks to Cholula-infused camarones but also citrusy and refreshing with hints of lime juice and chunks of cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado, and a sprig of cilantro. Served with a tostada branded with the Los Sombreros logo, it was instantly obvious that the eatery’s dishes focus on presentation just as much as pleasing its patrons’ palates.

Next came shrimp in a creamy mole verde mixed with melted Oaxacan cheese, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds, tomato and chopped cilantro. Flavor, color and texture were all present and perfectly executed here – the shrimp flawlessly sautéed, the mole effortlessly smooth and the whole mélange set off with the toasty crunch of the pumpkin seeds. Served with a mezcal neat – meant to be sipped not swigged like a shot – the intense smokiness was a perfect foil for the subtle spice of the dish.

The main course was pork stewed in mole manchamanteles, a traditional mole from Oaxaca that incorporates dried chiles, fruit and veggies to make a sauce that’s equal parts sweet and spicy. Los Sombreros uses sliced almonds, pineapple and apple to offset the savory element, resulting in a thick, jam-like jus. The pork was paired with the Mezcal Passion Flower, a light, slightly tropical cocktail mixed with mezcal, passionfruit syrup, hibiscus and orange blossom aperitivo, lime juice and plum bitters – a floral, coral-colored bebida beautified with a tajin rim and a fragrant purple pansy.

Last but not least: creamy flan drizzled with house-made mezcal caramel for a sweet conclusion – and more mezcal for a smokey counterpart.

Stop by the Mesa location on Southern Avenue to be one of the first to experience the mezcaleria, or check out the Uptown restaurant, which recently reopened with a refreshed shaded outdoor space and took over the former SunUp Brewing Co. taproom on Camelback Road. Uptown visitors and residents can now enjoy SunUp craft beers with California-inspired burritos from Los Sombreros’ sister concept Carnitas Way.

All three Los Sombreros locations – Mesa, Uptown Phoenix and Scottsdale – will be hosting Cinco de Mayo events with live music, taco bars and specials on Mexican beers and cocktails. Mole and mezcal, anyone?


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