While rooted in Mexican flavors and California influences, Californios is ultimately about where Chef Val Cantu’s imagination will go next. The elaborate 16-course (give or take) tasting menus highlight one or two ingredients. Wine is a focus—90% of front of house staff are at least certified sommeliers—with a goal of everyone, including kitchen staff, having sommelier education.
From the Sommelier: “One of the questions I get asked the most by our customers is why our wine list and pairing not primarily focused on a small set of countries. Generally, cuisines from a country pair well with wines of that country. However, especially with so many restaurants offering personal innovations on traditional cuisines, the best possible pairings may have theoretical underpinning but match cuisines and wines from different countries. An example of this is we pair our house mole with a Boal Madeira as we have found it to enhance the dish immensely.” —Wendy Shoemaker, Californios
Dish We Loved: Tres Frijoles: Heirloom beans three ways with caviar and gold leaf