In the southwestern United States, visitors can find a variety of restaurants that represent our southern neighbor, where locals and travelers alike can find delicacies from Michoacán to Mexico City. In Scottsdale, Toca Madera falls into the category of refined Mexican cuisine, where the chefs still honor tradition, but focus on innovative twists with favorites such as flautas, guacamole and tacos. Moreover, the handcrafted, perfectly blended cocktails only serve to highlight the menu items, especially when the barkeep blends your margarita with agave.
Appetizers at Toca Madera
When you arrive at your table, start with one of those margaritas mentioned above, then order the guacamole made with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds, red onion, jalapeno and cilantro served alongside plantain chips instead of corn tortillas. If you prefer something from the raw bar, the Habanero Oyster Shots served with a shallot-cilantro lime sauce and finished with roasted habanero salt are excellent on hot summer days. The salad menu at Toca Madera in Scottsdale is no less impressive, with options like the signature Toca Caesar, Caprese Mexicana as well as the extraordinary Mexican Fattoush salad that uses roasted ancho chili and micro tangerines.
At Toca Madera, the taqueria or “taco bar” is extraordinary, with choices you do not often see on Mexican restaurants. However, each taco follows the Toca Madera style, which is innovation without sacrificing tradition or flavor. The kitchen makes a wonderful Kobe Al Pastor taco that uses pineapple and chili marinated steak, then the nimble chefs place it into a warm blue corn tortilla and top it with more pineapple, grilled onions and roasted jalapeno peppers. The Sea Bass Ensenada is Toca Madera’s version of the fish taco; made with crispy battered Chilean sea bass and a medley of fresh vegetables, the taco is one of the most popular on the menu. Other excellent combinations include the ones made with wild mushroom, white prawn, and for those who love chorizo, but prefer a healthier version, try the soyrizo and potato taco.
Dinner on the Rocks
When the table orders a second round of drinks at Toca Madera in Scottsdale and the impeccable servers take away the remnants of appetizer dishes, it is time to order the amazing entrees. Here, the kitchen prepares some of Toca Madera’s signature dishes on hot lava stones. For example, the Organic Jidori Chicken, the White Prawn and the Grass-Fed Carne Asada. Each one comes with a side of sweet-chipotle, onions, Poblano peppers, tortillas, rice and beans. However, if there is one dish on the menu that one should try, it is the Mole de Olla. This dish is the epitome of complexity in Mexican cuisine, and the one here follows the recipe according to tradition made with more than 20 different ingredients.