The idea comes from Conrad Aguilar, the new chef at Aro Latin in South Pasadena. Instead of the usual plate of tortilla chips drowning in cheesy sauce, Aguilar layers crisp corn tortillas with scallops, shrimp and roasted yellow bell pepper sauce.
Happy hour is busy at Aro Latin, and the drinks are great. But if you're planning on dinner instead, you could start with the nachos, then one of Aguilar's salads such as this organic baby kale salad with goat cheese, tomatoes, almonds, radish slices and honey lime dressing.
Or go for sweet and spicy costillitas--baby back ribs flavored with achiote, coconut milk and cumin. They're sweet with mango chutney and spicy with habanero chile. You might want a second order of these.
Aguilar, 31, was born in Oaxaca City and grew up in Mexico City. He joined Aro Latin just three months ago. Old favorites are still on the menu there, but Aguilar's specialties are adding bright new flavors.
Photos by Barbara Hansen
Aro Latin, 1019 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030. Tel: (626) 799-9400