gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 96

Dining Out With Friends La Niña Perdida with Ron and Addie Habit Written By Larry J. Mickartz Our Gilroy friends, Ron and Addie Habit, joined us for our second Dining Out With Friends adventure to La Niña Perdida (The Lost Little Girl), a classical and refi ned Mexican restaurant in Morgan Hill. The menu was full of unusual and delicious dishes… and it was a restaurant well worth a visit. The cozy space is decorated with brightly-colored, hand-crafted unique art and a full bar offers a marvelous selection of tequilas and an array of authentic Mexican beers. W e started the evening with drinks, Mexican Spirit Lickers. Addie, ordered El Vernado with the chili rim (Tequila Cazares Reposado, Grand Marnier, Lime, Agave Nectar, Salted Rim) and was transported to a café on a beach in Mexico. Ron, the straight man of the group, had a traditional margarita. Ron coined his phrase of the night, “good and fresh” while enjoying his drink. J. Chris tried a La Palma (Tequila El Jafe Silver, Coconut, Agave Nectar, Citrus, Chile Rim.) She loved the coconut fl a- vor but was not sure of the chili on the rim. Mindful of the tequila sins of my youth, I chose a Estrella Jalisco…the old- est beer in Mexico. It has only recently been introduced in the U.S.. Watching a Giant’s-Dodge’sr game, I had seen it adver- tised on a stadium wall at Chaves Ravine. 96 Moving on to the appetizers, small plates or “Para Empezar” we ordered Guacamole Rustico, Queso Fundido and Esquites. These dishes set the tone for the evening… wonderful, bright, unusual flavors! The guacamole had big ripe hunks but was creamy “like butter. With the salsa and hearty chips, it was “heavenly.” We were enjoying it so much our waiter, Dan, had to remind us there was more to come. The Queso Fundido was a Mexican take on a fondue, thicker than most fondues with mushrooms and chorizo. It was served with small soft blue corn tortillas. The earthiness of the local mushrooms offset the saltiness of the chorizo…a wonderful combination. One of the big surprises of the evening was the Esquites (Sweet white corn sautéed with onions, jalapeno peppers, and epidote. Finished with cream and queso fresco, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder.) The GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 dish also, as Ron said, “good and fresh.” We later learned that it is a common street food in Mexico. We put decided we would take some home to our respective households! While we waited for our main courses, Ron and I sampled some beers. Cabezón was light and refreshing with just a hint of bitterness at the end. Jefezón was heavier with a hint of non-sweet caramel that went well with heartier foods. The bartender, Armand, explained that Mexican beers take on some of the characteristics of the region…the water, local hops and minerals. Addie and J. Chris tried the bottomless mimosas. They tested a few of the champagne mixes: Mango, Passion Fruit,