We may not be able to make a quick escape to the beaches of Mexico, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat like we have. For insanely fresh seafood, we headed to Restaurant Sinaloa, an unfussy restaurant in the heart of Mesa.
Restaurant Sinaloa is a mariscos (seafood) eatery serving the cuisine of Sinaloa, Mexico, a city known for its abundance of seafood. Some refer to the city as the Shrimp Capital, a designation reflected in Restaurant Sinaloa's menu, which offers 16 different preparations of the shellfish. But, beyond shrimp, Restaurant Sinaloa offers just about every other type of seafood, raw or cooked, and fresh as can be.
Almost as soon as we arrived at Restaurant Sinaloa, a round of fresh salsa and chips was served. Now, typically complimentary chips and salsa are hardly worth mentioning, but we’re mentioning them now because they were delicious. The chips were toasty and the salsa was bright and spicy, especially with a squeeze of fresh lime.
One specialty dish at Restaurant Sinaloa is the molcajete barba roja. It is basically a massive stone bowl filled with thick and spicy soup, melted cheese, and grilled deliciousness, including octopus, bacon-wrapped shrimp, chicken, beef, poblano pepper, green onion, and potato. Ordering it was a no-brainer. As the dish was placed before us, there was no shortage of ooh-ing and ahh-ing as the soup sizzled and the grilled ingredients lounged on the edges of the bowl.
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The soup in the molcajete barba roja was thick and rich with a mellow sort of spiciness to it, made only better by melted cheese (probably Oaxacan). The grilled ingredients were all cooked insanely well. The octopus, a difficult ingredient to cook right, was wonderfully tender but still had a good bite to it. The beef and chicken were thinly sliced and nicely juicy, and the bacon-wrapped shrimp (massive, by the way) were just obnoxiously tasty. Finally, the charred whole green onion, poblano peppers, and sliced potato made this dish truly like none other.
Restaurant Sinaloa has shrimp dishes galore. Overwhelmed by the choices, we went with the camarones culichi, a favorite of our waitress'. The dish is shrimp served in a creamy sauce made with milk, poblano chiles, sour cream, and cilantro alongside rice, potatoes, and a simple salad. Everything about this dish was delicate and light. The cream sauce was in no way heavy, and the poblano chile and cilantro gave it a bright but not overwhelming flavor.
We were impressed by the quality and freshness of the seafood dishes we ate at Restaurant Sinaloa, and nearly every dish that passed our table on the way to another had us wishing we’d ordered it as well. Another trip to Restaurant Sinaloa is already in our books.
45 West Broadway Road, Mesa