El Arrayan (Puerto Vallarta: El Centro)
When I was researching on restaurants in PV, the most recommended place is El Arrayan, an authentic traditional Mexican restaurant in Downtown. It is almost unanimously declared to be the best Mexican restaurant in town everywhere. So we made reservation for the Xmas eve. I love the open air courtyard interior a lot, feels festive and intimate. The drinks were great. I got a cocktail Mexican candy and Jon got the Premium Magarita: 100 year aged Tequila, Grand Marnier orange liqueur with freshly squeezed lime juice. Very very smooth and strong! The best Magaritas I've ever had! Both are reasonably prices, around $5 or $6.
All the salsas and tortillas were handmade here. The appetizer Sopitos Villa de Alvarez (handmade small thick tortilla & black beans, fresh cheese and chopped onion) is very good. The salsas were freshly made and just taste so much better. The friendly waitress would point out to us which one goes well with the appetizer and our meal.
I got the Traditional chile en Nogada: Poblano pepper stuffed with chopped beef & pork, candied cactus, dried peaches, apple, pear, raisins and almonds. Covered in a velvety nut sauce topped with red pommegranate seeds. It's a traditional Mexican summer dish that's served chilled. Very very good! So many different flavors and they all go really well together. It's also very interesting tasting for me as I never had Mexican dishes like this before. This is pure authentic Mexican dish that's hard to find in LA.
Duck Carnitas: Chef Juan's own famous crispy and juicy duck confit, Mexican fashion, arrayan-orange sauce. Excellent! The duck was cooked perfectly. The skin was crispy and the inside was moist and juciy. Love the sauce a lot.
Even though we're fulled already but figured we should gave their dessert a try. We got the Carrot Cake and wow it's surprisingly great (never knew Carrot cake can taste so yummy). There're different types of sweetness with each bite.
This is easily the best meal and restaurant we had in this trip. If I ever go back to Puerto Vallarta I'll definitely go back here. I wish there's an authentic gourmet Mexican restaurant that's on par with El Arrayan here in LA so I can convinced people (i.e. my parents and some friends) that Mexican cuisine is indeed very sophisicated and interesting. Highly recommended.
Calle Allende 344, at Calle Miramar, Puerto Vallarta
Joan | January 4, 2008 03:20 PM
It's not spicy at all. It's meant to be a refreshing dish I think, lots of fruits and surprisingly go well with the stuffed meat!
Joan | January 8, 2008 11:16 AM
Wow I want to try that stuffed pepper! Looks pretty too! Is it spicy?
seat | January 7, 2008 10:15 PM
Thanks for the rec Formulagal! I need all the rec for good authentic gourmet Mexican place I can get. I'll def check out Babita Mexicuisine!
Joan | January 6, 2008 02:36 PM
There is a great mexican restaurant in Los Angeles county...check out Babita Mexicuisine in San Gabriel. They serve the Chile en Nogada as a seasonal dish and it's fabulous! I've eaten at this unassuming, 10 table restaurant several times and have never been disappointed. Zagat food rating is a 27 with an average cost of $35.
formulagal | January 6, 2008 06:55 AM