It's been a little bit since I've visited and written up about Autentica, so let me tell you about a meal just the other night.
A caveat: I went on a Sunday night, and the chef/owner Oswaldo Bibiano was not there.
The service here is much improved. I'm not sure what happened, but something certainly did because the service is attentive.
I ordered a margarita, which is always good here, blended or on the rocks. They also offered a pomegranite version.
The menu is divided up between small & large plates, seafood cocktails, salads, soups, and sides. Large plates do tend to be generous enough that you don't need an appetizer or salad. Those run from $17-$20.
Seafood cocktails run from $12-$15; small plates from $3-$10; salads, $8-$13; soups, $7-$8; and sides, $4-$7.
Generally, there are at least a couple vegetarian and vegan options, but on the current menu, there is only one vegetarian dish.
We ordered a succession of food: pulpo al pescador, queso fundido con chorizo, and a couple of platillos mexicano. And they began arriving, along with three homemade salsas and freshly made corn tortillas, almost immediately.
The pulpo is an octopus cocktail. The octopus is sliced into small pieces and then combined with chunks of avocado and onions in a red chile sauce. It's served with saltine crackers. All in all, a very traditional dish. As always, the octopus was delicious, but I really wanted bigger chunks of it, and more of it.
At about the same time, the queso fundido arrived. This is basically a mexican fondue, made with oaxacan cheese and chorizo -- a heart attack in a little bowl. And it has the potential to be incredible. Not so on my visit -- the fundido was overcooked, leaving tough cheese, little islands of chorizo and puddles of grease. It still tasted good, and my companion and I scraped and scraped to get bits of cheesy goodness off. This was especially good with the black corn tortillas in our tortilla basket.
And finally, the main event. The platillo mexicano ($18) is made up of two enchiladas, in red and green moles, with a chile relleno. It sounds like your regular combo plate at your corner mexican joint, right? Wrong. If you're a fan of mole, you have to try this! The green mole is made from pumpkin seeds, tomatillos and serrano peppers, really rich and complex, over a simple chicken or cheese in a tortilla. The red mole is made from 8 kinds of dried chiles and nuts, and is better than any I've tasted anywhere. And the chile relleno is stuffed with cotija cheese, in a tomato sauce topped with crema. We were glad to have some extra, handmade, fresh corn tortillas to sop up all the extra sauce!
Other dishes I've tried before include the tortilla soup ($8) which was delicious. Camarones al autententico mojo de ajo ($20) are to die for, gorgeous, subtle and garlicky, and accompanied by rice . Anything with a mole sauce is worth seeking out, as is the pescado entero or whole fish. Tamales and tostadas are excellent too.
I've never tried the desserts.
All and all, it was not as good as I've had in the past, but still a very good meal.
By the way, check out their brunch.