Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado

[On March 4, 2019, Founder Alex Perez was on hand at a special Tequila Mandala Dinner pairing that took place at famed restaurateur Jesse Gomez’s second Mercado location in Los Angeles, CA.  Here’s Alex’s report on that memorable evening.]

Foodie Heaven

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69PWhat do you get when you combine one of your favorite tequila’s with a top rated L.A. restaurant?  You get foodie heaven!

I had the privilege of visiting Mercado Los Angeles during their Tequila Mandala dinner recently, and I was thoroughly impressed.

In all transparency, my senses had already been excited with their exciting take on Mexican cuisine when Mercado opened a location in Pasadena, CA.

As for Tequila Mandala, this fine line is on my favorites list.

Put it all together, with both owners and the chef in attendance, and it was truly an experience.

For Starters

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69P

We were set up in a private area with some sixty guests who were anxious to get tasting.  Co-owner, Jesse Gomez appeared and welcomed all of us and got things going.

For starters, the attentive wait staff brought out jicama shrimp tacos.  Crispy breaded shrimp on a jicama tortilla with chile de arbol aioli and Mexican slaw that included bits of mango.

It was paired with the refreshingly tasty Tequila Mandala Blanco and was a perfect accompaniment withTequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69P its notes of fresh citrus on the nose and sweet roasted agave on the palate.

Barbecue and Grown-up Cocktails

Next up was a beef rib, perfectly braised, with guajillo mustard BBQ sauce and BBQ potato chips as a garnish.

The beef rib was rich, smokey and melted in your mouth.  For the small portion that was served, it was very satisfying.  I wanted to pick up the bone and eat up the last piece stuck to it–so I did!

This dish was paired with a “Special Cocktail” served by the Mercado bar manager Caesar, and made with strawberry, pomegranate, Aperol and Tequila Mandala Blanco.

It tasted like a grown up’s Margarita.  I’ll be experimenting with this one in my own bar, for sure.

The plates kept coming and so did Jesse and Chef José Acevedo, catering to our needs.  Their service and attention to every detail was superb.

Childhood Memories

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69P

Next on deck was sope de chorizo con papas with cabbage, salsa de molcajete, crema fresca, tomatoes and cotija cheese.

The sope took me back to when I was a kid visiting family friends in Highland Park, CA.  His mom would make delicious handmade sopes.

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69P

 

I started with a knife and fork, then of course, I picked it up with my hands like it is supposed to be eaten.  And, the Mandala Reposado was PERFECT.

This is a great reposado and a good example of why I say reposados are making a comeback.  Wood and dried fruit on the nose, and the cooked agave still shines through on the palate.  Hints of oak, vanilla and coconut also make an appearance.

The Home Stretch

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69PAnother tasty offering from Mercado’s menu was roasted chicken on a bed of Mexican rice and mole Oaxaqueño topped with a crispy kale.  The nuttiness of the mole was complemented harmoniously by the Mandala Añejo.

This beautiful añejo has dried fruit, oak and vanilla on the nose and sweet dried raisin, oak and vanilla on the palate.  It’s an añejo that wants to be like its big brother Mandala Extra Añejo.

The Crown Jewel

Dessert was a chocolate Abuelita tres leches cake over berries and cajeta sauce drizzled on the plate.  My mouth is watering just writing this!

Paired with this decadent dish was Mandala’s crown jewel, the Extra Añejo.

In the glass, I smelled dried fruits and nuts along with hints of toasted oak.  On the palate, an explosion of honey, vanilla, dried raisins and wood notes.

It is addictive and dangerous.

At Your Service

Tequila Mandala Dinner at Mercado https://wp.me/p3u1xi-69P

The hospitality at this Mercado and Mandala event was fantastic.

Co-owners Jesse Gomez and Chef José Acevedo and staff came around to every table making sure all our needs were met.  I experienced the same great service and attention to detail at the Pasadena location, too.

Humberto Ibarra, one of the owners and importers for Mandala, and brand manager Moises Rivera, were on hand and visited every table and guest, preaching the Mandala gospel.

I died and went to Foodie Heaven.

But, I’ll be back!

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Glass Bottom Spirits: At the End of Good Tequila

What’s at the End of Every Good Tequila?

In the agave spirits soaked Southern California market, no distributor works harder or smarter than owner Humberto Ibarra, importer and distributor at Glass Bottom Spirits.

Co-founded with his cousin, attorney Arturo Lomeli Ibarra in December of 2012, Glass Bottom Spirits was established with a single vision and purpose–

Glass Bottom Spirits: At the End of Good Tequila https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5tn

To import and distribute only the best premium tequila that the great state of Jalisco, Mexico had to offer.

Glass Bottom has since expanded its portfolio to include craft Mexican beers and wines whose quality they believe in.

As a licensed wholesaler, importer, and distributor of the brands they carry, it allows Glass Bottom to set competitive prices to retail stores, restaurants, clubs and bars throughout California.

We spent a warm autumn afternoon talking tequila with Humberto at his offices in Pico Rivera.

[*FTC Disclosure: Brands appearing on the Tequila Aficionado Wild Wild West 2017 Tour were vetted as Brand of Promise(c) Nominees and paid a nominal fee to be included.]

From Nothing to Something

In this clip, Humberto shares with us his background, what brand building means to him, and how his mother-in-law came up with the company’s unique name.

Humberto divulges his tips for start up tequilas and mezcals contemplating entering the American market.

Ibarra admits that some brand owners have unrealistic expectations when coming into the United States.  He feels it’s his job to steer them in the right direction.

Glass Bottom Spirits: At the End of Good Tequila https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5tn

Of vital importance to him–

That each brand he imports and distributes must budget for some kind of marketing in order to compete for mind share in the already over-crowded liquor store shelves and restaurant back bars.

The Magic of Mandala

Here, Humberto discusses what it takes to bring a small brand with a specialty bottle onto the burgeoning Extra Anejo segment.

Tequila Tasting with Humberto

This clip discusses the sexy Chisholm Trail Crafts jarrito tumbler for tequila tasting with the newly relaunched 4 Copas tequila.

What a Chore

We continue our tasting flights with Humberto Ibarra’s newest acquisition, La Tarea tequila.

With the agave crisis looming, the demand for smaller, craft brands that are supported by their own agave will be more in demand.

We also touch lightly on mezcal medley (ensemble), The Lost Explorer.

The Importance of Distribution

Glass Bottom Spirits: At the End of Good Tequila https://wp.me/p3u1xi-5tn

In an era of mega-mergers between competing distributors, the informed consumer will be seeking more quality craft agave spirits.

To that end, small-to-mid sized distributors will become even more important for these brands in the race to compete with the Big Dawgs.

Glass Bottom Spirits seems poised to maintain significant shelf space for its clients against all comers.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

Mandala Extra Anejo Tequila Review

From the Mandala Tequila Website:

Sipping Off the Cuff | Mandala Tequila Extra Anejo http://wp.me/p3u1xi-5a7A MANDALA has remained valid in all cultures around the world for thousands of years, it is not limited to borders, religions or cultures, it is accessible to all humanity, which is why it has very strong and broad meanings, all derived from a circle for us a mandala is a circle of joy, peace and above all life.

In our family Circle, generations, friends and acquaintances, we always give ourselves the time to sit down together and decide what will be our next outing weekend, anniversary, our vacation next summer, our winter holidays etc, usually in

our Mexican culture and in general human nature we all enjoyed a good weekend on a beach, a cabin or a little gateway anywhere, but most important spending time with family, friends or colleagues.

This custom is most pleasant for us as Mexicans, being in a place, relaxing , laughing, being out of the normal routine and enjoying your stay.

Find Mandala on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Tequilamandala/

FTC Disclaimer: All samples are received free of charge but no payment is accepted by Tequila Aficionado or its agents for reviews. All reviews are the opinions of those participating in the tasting and positive reviews are never guaranteed.

Learn all about tequila from field to glass and then get paid to share your love of agave spirits with others! Buy Them Both Now!

How to Get Paid to Drink Tequila:

How you can turn your passion into profits and get paid to drink tequila as a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or author

 

Salud!!