110 E. Union St.
Pasadena, California 91103
Maestro +

Anne Fishbein Duck carnitas, roasted tomatillo, cauliflower, escabeche


  • Tue.-Sun., 5-10 p.m.
Maestro is less thematic than Chef Danny Godinez's O.C. restaurants, which have focused on French/Mexican cooking, or molecular techniques, or the aforementioned 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.

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