Recently my friends from California and I visited Tesoro, a Latin Kitchen & Cantina. I had driven past it some months ago, mourning the loss of one of our favorites, MIMI’s French Cafe, a possible euphemism for something close to European. Mimi’s was a casualty of the pandemic. Sure, it was a chain, but we were fond of the one in Costa Mesa CA, when we lived there many moons ago. In any case, we had the opportunity to visit Tesoro to see how they had remade Mimi’s.
Tesoro is Spanish for “Treasure”. Tesoro boasts three full-service bars as well as “not just your ordinary Mexican food”. I suppose that is what they mean by “Latin”: not just Mexican, but a melting pot of Spanish flavors, some of the names of, I did not recognize. Most of them familiar to Southern Arizonans.
We arrived for an early dinner at slightly after 4pm. The hostess looked carefully at the reservation list before seating us. Of course, the layout of the place was much like Mimi’s had been, only with new flooring, 3 bars, sports TV’s of course, and outdoor seating on Oracle Road near the Tucson Mall. Perhaps a bit noisy for my taste, so to speak. The chairs were large, plush, and comfortable, but I would be surprised if they last, given the 3 bar, sports venue, music and dancing, type crowd they are going to invite.
We were a family of 4 plus me. Cindy and I ordered their house margarita. It was happy hour. $5, a good price these days. Also the margarita was very good. With that came chips. Cindy had ordered the guacamole with it. It came with 2 chicharrones (pork skins) on the side. and the pickled onions were nice. Good flavor. The salsa was mild, for gringos, I suspect.
David and I ordered the Chile Relleno plates. David with the usual beans and rice. The server asked if I wanted it with beans and rice or something else. I had my choice of sides, not the least of which was mashed potatoes. I wondered if there was a Latin flavor of potato. I asked for the calabacitas (squash) and rice. Cindy ordered the 3-taco plate. We had our choice of flour or corn tortillas. our server indicated that the corn tortillas were fresh and hot, so that is what we got.
Our food did not take long to arrive. David raved about the beans. The rice was good and I was happy to have something other than a plate full of carbos although I am not sure what type of veggie “Calabacita” is catalogued as. The relleno was very good. Just don’t eat the seeds unless you want a 3-alarm fire in your mouth.
Check out Tesoro’s menu here. They will eventually let you order online for pickup or possibly delivery. Call for reservations or let Google do it for you.
For now, I will rate it a 4 for the food, comfortable setting, lack of crowd, and good service. It was early. Try it out.
Tesoro Latin Kitchen & Cantina
4420 N. Oracle Rd. ( on the NE Corner of Wetmore and Oracle near the Tucson Mall)
Next stop, Theresa’s Mosaic is back after a devastating fire. They are touting a new “Chef-driven Menu”. I will let you know if it is even better this time. I wonder if they have new tiled tables.