*** UPDATE. One of the saddest COVID casualties was this amazing spot. We said goodbye to this institution in early 2021. It’s still greatly missed ****
On a busy backstreet in the Historic Center, full of plumbing supply shops, one block away from the big Alameda park, across the street from a beautiful and abandoned Art Deco Orfeon
Cinema and right next-door to an uber cool Mezcal dive bar, you’ll find one of my favorite food spot in town, a 24 seatings restaurant with No Name (of course included on my Favorites list).
This unpretentious restaurant with perfectly executed food is commonly mistaken as Oaxacan, when in reality, the inspiration for most of the dishes comes from the southern Mexican states and most importantly from owner’s Sofia Garcia, memories of her aunts and mother spending hours in the kitchen.
Decoration is simple and straightforward, just like the menu. Here simple techniques and high quality ingredients are the protagonists, elements such as pipicha, avocado leaf, hoja de acuyo (hoja santa), grasshoppers and chicatana ants make an appearance, next to nopales, tostadas, tomatillo based salsas and fresh guavas.
Masa and tortillas here are not store-bought, but made totally from scratch, corn kernels are brought in from the popular Ozumba market (1.5 hours outside the city), bought only from small producers who respect seasonalities, it’s then nixtamalized in-house, a practice that’s been around since the pre columbian times, but has regained a lot of popularity in the last couple of years.
The dishes that are completely unmissable are the itacate, a corn masa pattie triangular shaped, stuffed with fava bean puree, cheese, tomato and chili and wrapped in hoja de acuyo; the octopus rubbed with morita chili and served with black beans; the nopales salad with fresh cactus mixed with cheese and white beans; and the avocado leaf pound cake served with a soursop (guanabana) foam as a dessert. You can also ask about their Mexican wine and craft beer selection or even better, get one their amazing artisanal mezcales.
Overall the Sin Nombre (no name) restaurant is a place where food is cared for, cooked and served with utmost attention to detail but most importantly with a deep respect and love for each ingredient and its flavor, that feels more like an effortlessly delicious introduction to the complexity of Mexican gastronomy and its purest essence.