Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Café Poca Cosa
Review by: Michael Stern
***THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED***
Several years ago, Café Poca Cosa moved from its location in a mid-level hotel to a somewhat spectacular location on E. Pennington in downtown Tucson. Gone is the explosion of colorful folk art everywhere, as well as the sense that you are discovering four-star food in an unexpected setting. In the new Cafe Poca Cosa, with its sweeping, stylish dining room and objects of Mexican art on display as if in a museum, you expect to eat regally. And you do. It’s a cooler environment than before, not as hospitable-seeming as it once was. But the black-clad staff is well-trained and solicitous; and the food is as inventive and surprising as it was when Poca Cosa was new.
Proprietor Susanna Davila is an inspired chef, with a menu that reflects what chilies, spices, vegetables, and ingredients are fresh in the kitchen, and what her whim dictates. When you are seated, you are shown a portable blackboard with about a dozen choices on it, all of which need to be explained. Nothing on this menu is familiar; certainly, there are no tacos, enchiladas, or burritos. Nor are there appetizers and side dishes to choose. Each dinner comes complete on a plate with exactly what the chef believes it should have.
You will find some glorious chicken moles, or perhaps the variant of mole known as pollo en pipian, for which boneless chicken is cosseted in sauce made from bitter chocolate, crushed red chilies, Spanish peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and cloves. You will always find a tamale pie (pastel de elote) on the menu as a vegetarian alternative. Even if you are a devoted meat-eater, you should have it, for this tamale pie is creamy comfort food supreme, tender as a soufflé, always dressed up a little differently, topped with vivid green chili puree or a sweet mango sauce or, on our most recent visit, curried carrots.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|