Best California-fied Mexican Food

Nido

There's no shortage of restaurants in the Bay Area serving upscale Mexican food geared toward "slow foodies" and Alice Waters acolytes — where the sustainably raised pollo is name brand but where bold flavors, sadly, often get watered down and gringo-ized. In the Jack London neighborhood, Nido succeeds where others have stumbled in part because the menu doesn't just consist of more expensive versions of taqueria standards. Yes, you'll find quesadillas and tacos on the menu, but the restaurant's biggest strength is chef Silvia McCollow's "home-cooking" approach to the cuisine: simple roast chicken rubbed with ground chiles and served with seasonal vegetables and the ollita de pobre one-pot meal featuring rice, beans, and whatever lovingly-slow-cooked meat the kitchen is featuring on a given day. Alice Waters would approve, but, then again, so would many a Mexican abuelita.

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