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.