Colm McNamara is a clever guy. And he's also a funny guy. His sense of humour gives Pablo Picante the edge, an edge of modern, knowing, ironic amusement. For here is a pair of restaurants serving good food that doesn't take itself seriously, that says you can have a Cali Carnitas – slow-cooked pork, long-grain rice, black beans, grated cheese, fresh salsa in a flour tortilla – and eat it with gusto, and smile at all the elements of PP: the whacky language; the funny art work, the groovy Facebook pages, the implausible history. I mean, what's not to love about a couple of Mexican restaurants run by an imaginary wrestler – Pablo – where you can go and order a Pablo's Paleo Box? You have to love it.
But you will love this zippy spin on Mexican cooking too: chipotle shredded beef torta; the Ensenada Ensalada; the vegetarian Victorio Verde; the Mexicali Mince. The cooking is sharp, and sharply delivered and, whilst it doesn't take itself too seriously, this is serious food, as anyone who has been to Mexico will recognise. But you don't need to have been to Baja to get a kick out of this wonderful, soulful food.
More from the wonderful County Dublin
Megabites Sign Up Here!
Sign up for our Megabites Newsletter, a blog which brings you all the latest contemporary news of the best food and food people in Ireland, including all that’s new on the Wild Atlantic Way.