Restaurant of the Week: Sabor Mexicano

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Sabor Mexicano, 180 E. 6th St. (at Garey), Pomona

Sabor is across Garey from City Hall and the Library and ensconced behind a vacuum cleaner repair shop. But — capsule review — it doesn’t suck.

I’d been to Sabor Mexicano (“Flavors of Mexico”) a couple of times five years ago for dinner before council meetings, but the kitchen tended to take longer than I had. It’s not a taqueria, it’s a real sitdown restaurant. Casting about for a place to meet a friend recently, I remembered Sabor and that it served food from a couple of regions of Mexico poorly represented in restaurants.

Imagine my delight in rediscovering that one of them is Mexico City, which I visited early in 2011 on vacation. When I inquired in print after my return about Distrito Federal-style food locally, nobody mentioned Sabor.

The menu has sections for the DF and Oaxaca, as well as offering tortas, mariscos, jugos and licuados. (A mural outside the restaurant depicts a map of Mexico with Oaxaca pinpointed.)

The DF section (comida estilo Distrito Federal) has alambres, quesadillas, huaraches, gorditas, sopes, pambasos and cemotas poblanas, plus tacos and burritos. Admittedly, I didn’t know what some of these were, and many seemed like variations of the same item, but at least it was something.

I went with a quesadilla with squash blossoms (top right), which was familiar. The quesadilla was long, more of an oval than the circular U.S. version, and the squash blossoms were much like mushrooms. (I had a burrito with squash blossoms on the street in the DF, and a homemade quesadilla at my friends’ apartment; this was a melding of the two and pleasingly reminiscent of each.)

My friend had a huarache with cactus and beans (bottom right), holding the cheese and onions. A huarache is a sandal-shaped thick piece of fried masa with toppings. She pronounced it “quite tasty.” For beverages, she had a horchata and I had a watermelon drink. Our items were $5 to $6; exact prices forgotten.

Service was friendly and bilingual. Windows surround the restaurant on two sides and let in plenty of afternoon sunlight. A telenovela played on the TV. Life could be worse.

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