I want to share with everyone a great place my husband and I recently discovered, but first let me share “why” we specifically went out looking for “this place.”
My husband for months has been asking me to find him a restaurant that serves “authentic Mexican food.” Well, I consider myself pretty Internet savvy, and found several restaurants known for serving “authentic Mexican food.” However, each time we went, he was extremely disappointed and kept telling me that the food was very “boring.” I don’t mean any disrespect, but “authentic” Mexican food, in my opinion, is far from “gourmet food.” It’s pretty much refried beans, rice, and some type of protein buried in more beans and rice inside a burrito or taco. It’s just not “exciting” to me, but since my husband kept requesting “authentic Mexican food” that is what I kept giving him. Ah, well come to find out my husband did NOT want “authentic Mexican food” after all.
I finally got a bit frustrated one day, and asked, “What exactly ARE you wanting when you say “authentic Mexican food”? He replied that he wanted something that was “gourmet,” “flavorful,” and “exciting.” So, honestly, I looked at him and said…”Oh, so you DON’T want AUTHENTIC Mexican food. You want ELEVATED gourmet Mexican food that’s not really “Mexican,” but rather “Mexican food” inspired. He said, “Exactly”( don’t you love the art of verbal “communication”? It’s the one “task” humans have the biggest issue with..proper communication with each other. If we could master the art of communication life would improve instantly overnight—-but I digress–LOL).
Now that I knew what my husband REALLY was looking for this sent me on a quest to find this Unicorn because to be blunt, I’ve never personally experienced “gourmet” Mexican food. In my experience gourmet and Mexican food in the same sentence would be an oxymoron, but not anymore!
Tempo Urban Kitchen offers a whole new twist on Mexican food!! This restaurant has locations in Brea and Anaheim Hills. My husband and I went to the restaurant in Anaheim Hills. It is not a “huge” place. It’s located in Ralph’s shopping center, right at the corner. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you walk through the front door.
The entire restaurant feels more like a bar atmosphere. There is a good sized bar in the back, and in front are all high top bar style tables. They offer a patio area that is more enclosed than open. This area offers both high top tables and standard tables, and this is where families with children are allowed to dine. However, I would not suggest this place for families. Yes, they are welcome, but the vibe is more lively and much more adult oriented.
The offerings on the menu are NOT what you would find in your typical “Mexican food” restaurant. While there are items that are “traditional” they are not “tired” replicas of the same old thing. There are pork belly tacos, bone marrow tacos, a Chile Rellenos stuffed with short ribs and then dipped in a corndog batter, just to mention a few.
My husband, Lance and I have dined at this location numerous times, and every time the food just seems to get better and better. One of our most recent visits was for Taco Tuesday. Tempo Urban Kitchen(TUK) offers $2 street tacos, and any Mexican bottled beer is $3. Taco Tuesday is offered all night long until closing!
Another favorite is the Chile Rellenos made with braised short rib, goat cheese, Havarti cheese, chorizo beans, and dipped in a corndog batter. It is VERY delicious and a nice change of pace from the everyday version of Chile Rellenos.
In addition, the bar can mix up just about any liquid libation your heart desires. We highly suggest the next time you want some delicious upscale and progressive Mexican food you should definitely head over to either Brea or Anaheim Hills to check out Tempo Urban Kitchen.
Until next time, don’t forget to enjoy all the pleasures in your life both big and small.
Lance and Theresa Maska