El Berraco has been open for about a year and a half but I must confess I’ve never been there.
So. when my foodie/writer friend, Edie Jarolim, asked me and our third partner in crime, Karyn Zoldan to accompany her to do some research for an upcoming article, I jumped at the chance.
El Berraco is owned and operated by Benjamin L. Galaz, of BK Tacos and Sonoran Tacos, which is located up the street and on South 12th Avenue.
The exterior is a replica of a submarine with portholes for windows. The interior is also nautical, but in a funky, hip way. Galaz did most of the work himself. On two large screens, you can check out rotating pictures of various dishes. There’s a reason for these displays but that will be our secret.
The menu is packed with seafood dishes from the Pacific Coast with Latin influences or maybe its Latin with Pacific influences. The website calls it a “new authentic and innovative concept” and that it is. Either way the dishes are clever and tasty.
There are familiar dishes and then there are unique dishes and that begins with the chips. Instead of the normal salsa of tomatoes and such, El Berraco pulverizes chiles adds spices and other secret ingredients resulting in a thick, creamy dip.
These were accompanied by huge michaladas, trimmed out with a spicy sprinkle of tajine.
Benjamin suggested the trio of ceviche. The Peruvian had a mix of fish, the spicy consisted of scallops and shrimp and the tropical shrimp bas mango and other fruit and is both hot and sweet.
We also ordered the El Octopus, a gorgeous and perfectly seasoned whole octopus that had been grilled to perfection. Tender and spicy it came with cilantro rice, all fluffy and green.
Benjamin also served us a dish call Shish! a kabob of grilled shrimp, tuna, pineapple and red and green peppers. which came with cilantro rice.
We had to have tacos but there are so many to choose from we let Benjamin decide. He served us the El Pastor shrimp. He explained the shrimp was marinated then grilled and served with pina salsa, a guacamole cream and pickled onions.
Somehow, we found room for desserts, two desserts. A coconut flan and churros with ice cream chocolate sauce and pecans.
Thank you, Edie for invite. Thank you, Benjamin for all the wonderful food.
I’m going back to El Berraco soon and I bringing friends.