Mucho Ultima – Brunch Time in Manhattan Beach

| September 15, 2012

Mucho Ultima Mexican restaurant in Manhattan Beach has to have the largest selection of tequila choices in town. You can find out for yourself at this popular South Bay establishment when you check out their excellent weekend brunch which runs from 11am-3pm. We got there rather late on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago, but there appeared to be no problem with the time cut-off, and we were able to check out some of the specialties.

The newer trendier Mucho Ultima, boasts a completely revamped menu, leaving some of the regulars flummoxed and pining for the good old days. Luckily, I never frequented the old version, so this menu with the “Hollywood prices and attitude” fits just right into my Mexican food requirements.

Two talented chef’s run the show, Scott Linquist (formerly of Dos Caminos) and Byron Freeze (Food Network’s Chef Wanted winner). Highlights of the new brunch menu include Huevas Barrachos (machaca hash, and pan terrejas. I did try the huevas borrachos ($16) which is lamb barbacoa, crispy pork belly, frijoles borrachos and poached eggs with pasilla oaxaca salsa). Portions are generous and for a dish that I have not had before, it turned out to be a smart choice.

Also, went totally egg for the day with a similar sized Huevos Rancheros ($15) (sunny side organic eggs with crisp corn tortillas, country ham, refried pinto beans, queso fresca, avocado and salsa ranchero). All this was topped off with the sweet course of Pan Torrajas ($14) (Mexican corn flake crusted french toast with roasted plantains (although the menu says bananas), rum syrup and nueske bacon). I know that bacon is the hot thing these days, but this version was a bit too hard for my taste and overall the dish came up short of expectations.

It is worth going just for the Soft Shell Crab Taco ($18) ( two crispy tacos w/avocado, heirloom tomato pico, pickled jalapeno mayo served with homemade tortillas)–definitely a dish to share and the ultimate star of the menu. A word also about the Ultima Guacamole ($11) which is made tableside and served with tortilla chips and three salsas–again the portion is large, so you can easily take a
generous amount home.

There are over 300 tequilas available here, but one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails is the Bloody Mary created with vodka infused with five chiles. The summer Sangria is also a popular brunch choice.