Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aqui Cal-Mex--Cupertino, CA

Looking for a Mexican restaurant that we hadn't tried before, our internet search took us to Aqui Cal-Mex in Cupertino, which, as it turns out, is the site where Harvest was located. The avid reader may recall I reviewed Harvest favorably more than two years ago, but we never returned after a bad experience in 2009. Also similarly to Harvest, one orders at the counter at Aqui Cal-Mex, then takes a seat. Below is a photo of Tyler eying the specials of the day, one of which I had for dinner.

My dish, the pork loin with home-made flatbread and salad was a mediocre value at $10. My biggest complaint was the loin was overdone. Pork isn't easy to prepare properly, as it must be cooked throughout, yet toughens shortly after the meat reaches the required temperature. However unforgiving pork can be, though, one can still reliably get a tender loin with enough time and an oven bag. Not all was lost, as the pluots were sweet, delicious and offered just enough resistance to the bite.
My wife's dish was easily the best value of the four at our table at $8. The Thai Pork Rollup demonstrated that Aqui can cook pork after all. Even the rice inside the wrap was delicious. The rollup's unlikely dish-mate was a bowl of Southwest French Onion Soup. While of course not authentic French Onion (that's a slice of bread you see floating there, not cheese), it was nevertheless a joy to slurp. The broth had the flavor of the traditional French Onion but with some spices to give it some kick.
It's difficult, if not impossible, to make any quesadilla really stand out. My sons' chicken and cheese quesadillas were no exception. They went well with the condiments provided at the salsa bar, though.

With the overall dinner quality easily passable and dinner ready in ten minutes, this will be a place we can come back to, especially in a pinch.

Aqui Cal-Mex
10630 De Anza Blvd.
Cupertino, CA
(408) 996-1443