La Mina, which means "the mine" in Spanish, is tucked under the new Drey Hotel and is actually a bit underground. At the helm in the kitchen here is chef Tony Ibarra, whose résumé includes time at Petra and the Beast, FT33, CBD Provisions, Small Brewpub, Proof and Pantry and Nanna.
The menu is a one-pager broken into appetizers, tacos and regionally inspired large plates. One of those regions also includes Texas, so you’ll find enchiladas de queso y rajas ($16) with Oaxacan cheese, poblano chilies, epazote, salsa ranchera, rice and refried black beans. A carne asada de mole amarillo ($29) is a grilled steak with yellow mole, roasted potatoes, chorizo and carrot-jalapeño escabeche.
Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday has its own menu and drink specials. Signature dishes include chilaquiles rojas with cochinita pibíl or pollo borracho, Drowned Huevos in the amarillo mole and a horchata-soaked French toast. They’re making their own chorizo in-house as well.
Tacos include cochinita pibíl, camarones de mole amarillo, pork belly al pastor, hongos and pipián and barbacoa. All the tacos, as well as the big plates, are served with their house-made tortillas using heirloom corn nixtamalized and ground in-house.
“We’re in the midst of a masa movement, and it’s due to two things: the availability of landrace heirloom maíz from Mexico and a gadget called the Molinito. (Landrace crops are those adapted to specific places and growing conditions over time, typically on small farms.) Their powers combined are poised to change America’s relationship with masa — and with Mexican cooking as a whole.”
Nixtamilization involves soaking the grain in an alkaline solution. The Molinito is a table-top-sized mill is to grind the nixtamilized grain.
The penchant for house-made ingredients extends to the bar too. They’re making their own sangrita, veridita and tepache.
La Mina, which is across from another new restaurant Anise, has an outdoor space with about 24 seats, as well as bar seating and the dining room.
La Mina (inside the Drey Hotel), 5630 Village Glen Dr., 4 - 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 4 p.m. - 12 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour is 4-6 p.m. Monday - Friday.