I’m always trying to look for new places and last weekend was no exception! After running around town doing some errands on Friday, Jake, T and I headed to a new spot over in the revamped Barrio Logan (did you know they got a gateway sign in 2014 – I didn’t until I saw it!). The place? A new joint called MishMash. Talking to our waitress, we found out they are still in the “soft opening” stage and have only been open for about 2 weeks. Crazy cool!
Here’s how it looks from the exterior. They have an outdoor patio with seating which extends out from the front door of the restaurant. They are right next door to Iron Fist Brewing.
Here’s the interior of MishMash. They have some cool graffiti art on both walls inside the restaurant. I didn’t get the whole thing, but it says “MishMash Gourmet”.
They ONLY have these freakin’ tall stools/benches inside. It took a lot of work for me to get up on the bench (and Jake had to help me). My feet didn’t even touch the lower “bar” underneath the bench. Sigh. Short person problems.
We sat on the far end next to the bar seating which also peeked a little bit into the kitchen.
They even have a few beers on tap!
Here’s the menu at MishMash. They only have a few items and I think it’s better for a restaurant to focus on a few good items instead of having a huge menu. Looking at the Facebook page for MishMash, you can see they’ve been playing around with different menu items and we found out they have different “secret menu” items that are sometimes available (more about that later).
Here’s an easier to read view of the bottom of the menu which is where they put the drinks (beer, wine, soda) and dessert.
[lemonade with lavender bitters / $2.50]
I wasn’t going to get a drink at first, but then I changed my mind and decided to try the housemade lemonade at MishMash. It was made with lavender bitters and it had more of a lime taste rather than lemon taste to me. The drink was almost borderline bitter as it wasn’t too sweet – but I actually didn’t mind that at all – I thought it was a tasty drink!
I thought the lavender flavor was kind of light, but Jake (who I swear is a super taster who can detect even a hint of a flavor or spice) thought the lavender flavor was very strong.
[pork belly bites / $8]
If there’s pork belly anywhere on a menu of a restaurant that I’m visiting, it’s almost guaranteed that I will order it. I prefer this crispy crunchy version of pork belly vs. the braised version that you see at other places. Probably because I’m in love with crunchy textures!
This pork belly dish didn’t disappoint! It had a wonderfully juicy bottom with a super crispy top layer. This version reminded me very much of Chinese roast pork or Filipino lechon. It was served with some roasted brussels sprouts (not my favorite veggie but this one wasn’t as bitter as other versions I’ve had) along with a cup of pineapple habanero salsa.
The pineapple habanero salsa mostly just tasted sweet to me – almost marmalade-like. I couldn’t detect the habanero at all and it just added a nice sweet element to the pork while I was munching down on it. I’m happy it didn’t burn and destroy me!
[mishmash burger / $12]
The burgers are kind of what caught my eye when I was looking at the menu before we visited. Mounds of crispy onion strings piled on top of a burger will always make my mouth water!
This particular burger is made with a 1/2 lb of Brandt beef and it topped with mozzarella cheese and crispy onions. It’s paired with an Amish bun from Sadie Rose and a little bit of garlic aioli.
We asked for the burger medium rare but it came out medium well instead. There wasn’t a great ratio of bottom to top bun. T loved this burger – Jake thought it was okay but me… well, it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I didn’t like the seasoning on the burger (there was an odd flavor that I didn’t like but I couldn’t tell what it was) and I personally don’t think mozzarella is a good choice for burgers. The cheese doesn’t stay melted for long and mozzarella seems to be too overpowered by the other flavors to compliment it very well in my opinion. The onion strings also didn’t stay crispy for long and started to taste a little soggy in the burger. The burger meat was very juicy though despite being cooked medium well. I’d just prefer it with cheddar instead!
[pollo a la plancha / $12]
We decided to also try the chicken dish. It’s boneless skinless chicken thigh marinated in harissa pasta, garlic & lemon. They serve it with a side of soy chorizo beans and cilantro lime rice. The soy chorizo beans were a little oddball in flavor to me and I didn’t like eating them alone – they tasted much better with something else.
The chicken though was perfect! It had a lovely char on the outside from being grilled. Jake was afraid the chicken would be dry but the chicken was incredibly moist and tender. It packed a ton of flavor from the marinade and I loved eating this on their housemade corn tortillas with bits of the onion, beans, and tomatillo salsa.
We loved the corn tortillas so much that we asked for additional tortillas (they charged us an extra $1 for 2 more tortillas which we would happy pay for). The corn tortillas were soft and tender – nothing like the “dried” out tasting corn tortillas you get when you buy them packaged from the store.
I used a bit of the pork belly, onions, pineapple salsa, and tomatillo salsa to make my own pork belly taco with one of the corn tortillas. SO FREAKING GOOD. I could just eat that forever! The crispy, juicy pork belly tasted so good with that tortilla. Jake commented he wished we could just buy a bunch of their corn tortillas to take home.
[chala mata fries / $12]
Now here’s the “secret menu” item! We had already placed our order for all of the above dishes and Jake noticed that at the bar there was this plate of french fries that the staff were eating every once in awhile. He asked our waitress what it was and she told us it was a “secret” menu item because they didn’t always have it available – but that the locals seemed to really love this dish. We found out it was called Chala Mata fries. The crispy housemade french fries are topped with soy chorizo refried beans, pork belly, guacamole, sour cream, and is served with tomatillo salsa on the side.
Jake wanted to order this instead of the pork belly but I wasn’t willing to give up my pork belly bites (even though this has pork belly in it)! So we just ordered it in addition to our other dishes. Thank goodness we had a teenager with us to help us finish the food! I liked the soy chorizo beans much better in this dish than by themselves – they tasted great with the guacamole and hot, crispy french fries with bits of yummy pork thrown in. This is a really unique dish that I hope will become a regular menu item for them since it’s so different from other dishes I’ve seen. It’s a wonderfully flavorful dish – ask for it if you come by to visit MishMash!
All in all the food, the atmosphere, and the service at MishMash was wonderful and we’d definitely be back. They have a Medianoche Cuban sandwich with the sweet medianoche Cuban bread that they make themselves that I really have my eye on for a future visit. I’d also order ANYTHING with those awesome corn tortillas again as well! It’ll be great to see how this restaurant does and how they grow as they get ready for their real grand opening!
Sunday / 11:00am-7:00pm
Monday – Friday / 11:00am-10:00pm