Modern Mexican Cuisine Never Looked Better Than at Maestro, Danny Godinez's Pasadena Restaurant

Modern Mexican Cuisine Never Looked Better Than at Maestro, Danny Godinez's Pasadena Restaurant

Maestro is less thematic than Danny Godinez's Orange County restaurants, which have focused on French/Mexican cooking, or molecular techniques, or the Mexican state-specific dishes. At Maestro, Godinez is looking to present "things that people have never tried before while still using Mexican flavors." The room is long and comfy and dark, backed by a small bar decorated with traditional Mexican tiles. There's a focus on tequila and mezcal cocktails. The margaritas are stellar. There are small plates meant for sharing. There's huitlacoche ice cream.

Godinez loves acidic flavors, and his best dishes act as a showcase for the wonders that lime can work on other ingredients. The shrimp and octopus ceviche is fairly straightforward, but the seafood is fresh and lovely, the balance of ingredients just right. Tacos ahogados is a soup/chicken taquito hybrid, the latter presented in a gorgeous citrus-tinged broth, showered with crisp radish and shredded cabbage. There's a focus on presentation that's more whimsical than artful — octopus with chorizo salsa and avocado puree is plated on the side of an empty mezcal bottle, and chicken with mole comes in a blobby swirl on the plate that we're told is "the shape of Mexico."



Maestro is less thematic than Danny Godinez's Orange County restaurants, which have focused on French/Mexican cooking, or molecular techniques, or the Mexican state-specific dishes. At Maestro, Godinez is looking to present "things that people have never tried before while still using Mexican flavors." The room is long and comfy and dark, backed by a small bar decorated with traditional Mexican tiles. There's a focus on tequila and mezcal cocktails. The margaritas are stellar. There are small plates meant for sharing. There's huitlacoche ice cream.

Godinez loves acidic flavors, and his best dishes act as a showcase for the wonders that lime can work on other ingredients. The shrimp and octopus ceviche is fairly straightforward, but the seafood is fresh and lovely, the balance of ingredients just right. Tacos ahogados is a soup/chicken taquito hybrid, the latter presented in a gorgeous citrus-tinged broth, showered with crisp radish and shredded cabbage. There's a focus on presentation that's more whimsical than artful — octopus with chorizo salsa and avocado puree is plated on the side of an empty mezcal bottle, and chicken with mole comes in a blobby swirl on the plate that we're told is "the shape of Mexico."


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