by Barnaby Hughes
I’ve had the pleasure of attending many wine pairing dinners, but recently was invited to my first Tequila pairing at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood. Taking place on the third Wednesday of each month in a private dining room, the four-course dinners pair Mexican tapas with a line of Tequilas from a single distillery. I was fortunate enough to attend the inaugural dinner featuring Milagro Tequila. Executive chef Brendan Warren came out of the kitchen to introduce each of the evening’s dishes, which were paired with three of Milagro’s Tequilas. Reposado was served with Tequila-battered avocado, Silver with camarones and chorizo, Reposado with albondigas over herbed rice and Añejo with sorbet and fresh fruit. A glass of the restaurant’s sangrita, a non-alcohol mix of juices and spices, was provided as a palate cleanser between courses.
I felt the Añejo was a perfect complement to the dessert, and many of my fellow diners agreed. General manager Adam Klesh encouraged each of us to share our impressions of the pairings with the whole group. Some described tasting certain flavors in the Tequila such as almond and caramel and all of us liked the battered avocado dish best. The discussion remained refreshingly casual. As a special bonus at the end of the meal, Klesh poured us Milagro’s Reserve Reposado, which I found to be a much better Tequila for sipping than those served with each course.
Tortilla Republic’s Tequila pairing dinners are rather affordable at just $40 per person. Come with a friend, and it’s just $75 for the pair! I’m looking forward to the next dinner on May 15.
You can click on each photo to enlarge. All photos by Amy Lee.