Monday, March 18, 2013

About that Impala Pop-Up at Toki Underground...

I have to preface this post by saying that I had some technical difficulties with my camera, so you are looking at a cell phone pic or two. They do not do the food justice, but I did the best I could. You can see the real thing at Taco Tuesdays at the Pug (1234 H Street). With a little luck you'll be able to dine at Impala by this summer (owner Troy Hickman says he is about 2-3 months from wrapping up construction).
I managed to snag a seat at the pop-up for Impala, a new Mexican restaurant coming to 1358 H Street. We've all been hearing about Impala for a while. You probably got a taste of their wares during the pop-up Tacos Impala that ran out of the Philadelphia Water Ice space. But the restaurant promises so much more than just tacos. This most recent pop-up focused on tortas, but that was hardy the only thing served. The price of admission was $40, but that included plenty of food to satiate the hungry eater, and a tasting of mescal, tequila, and rum. The food served at Impala is not the "Mexican" food of DC that is too often Salvadorian food. This is the real deal northern Mexican food. I grew up in an area (Tulsa, Oklahoma) that offers a bunch of crappy Tex-Mex, and a bit of authentic Mexican food (mostly of the northern variety). I've also lived in Austin, Texas, so I know of what I speak.
Here you see a very well done ceviche of shrimp and tilapia.

A peek at the kitchen.

A salad of cactus, jicama, cucumber, and fried kale. Lightly dressed, and as delicious as it looks.

Pork torta with pineapple and pickled onion. Delicious. Really wish I had a better picture of this one. Very nice sweet and savory balance.

Owner Troy Hickman posing with H Street in the background. Hickman has helped with the build-outs of several popular bars and restaurants along the Corridor (including Toki Underground).

SteakTorta with bacon, chili, & queso. This was my favorite item. I will be craving it for quite a while.

Crepa with mango jam, and goats milk cajeta (a sauce of sorts). I'm not a dessert person, but I very much enjoyed this. It paired well with the rum that they served.


Anonymous said...

Hey Inked, what else is slated to open this spring/summer on H street?

fatty said...

Tortas look delicioso

Anonymous said...

looks great! thanks for the update and thank to this guys for hanging in there. I bet DCRA has been a nightmare. We will be there every week!

Anonymous said...

this is a welcome addition to H street...Does anyboby know what is going with the old jym on H street?
I saw some activity last night.It looked as though they were clearing old equipment out...When will we get a jym in the neighborhood.I support LA Fitness..

inked said...

That space is slated to become a steak house called Mythology.

We have tons of stuff in the pipeline. Impala, Sol Mexican, Manny & Olga's, Red Rocks, and plenty more. Chupacabra's brick and mortar space also just got a new paint job.

Anonymous said...

where's the brick and mortar Chupacabra's going to be?

inked said...

Chupacabra is going to be on 9th Street behind Stan's (Stan's is located at 822 H Street NE).

Anonymous said...

Tacos at Toki. Olé!

I was feeling spicy so I decided to pop in at the taco pop-up at Toki. You see my neighbor from across the hall of my downtown loft, Troy Hickman, invited me to come try his Impala tasty tacos, so there was no wait for me. And as you all know, the wait at Toki could drive one to distraction, but not this muchacha!

Dios Mio! The steak torta was out of this mundo. And amazingly I didn't find one Ramen Noodle in my entrée.

I opted not to try desert as bikini season is right around the corner. My Yorkie expects me to be looking my best when I'm out at my house in Rehoboth working the beach!

I'd rate this a two Shelly stars out of five. I can't wait to try the offerings at the brick and mortar location when the build-out is complete.