Takito takes modern approach to taqueria

June 14, 2013 5:30:29 PM PDT
Don't expect to see guacamole and tacos - at least in the traditional sense - at the new Takito in Wicker Park. The theme here is "modern Mexican," which means nearly everything has a twist on it. Take those tacos, for instance. With respect to the pork belly trio, that thick bacon is first cooked with a morita-chile-cinnamon sauce - kind of a poor man's mole - then assembled with peppery arugula, pickled onions and mozzarella on an atypical tortilla.

"First of all, we add a little bit of local polenta to it, to give it a little more corn dimension of flavor. Sometimes we add sesame seeds and sesame puree - for the pork belly - we also add hibiscus tea for the fish tacos," said David Dworshak, the Chef at Takito.

And those crispy fish tacos arrive with more of an Asian accent than a Mexican one.

"Has a rice powder on it, has a coconut custard, carrot-jalapeno slaw, some local basil and toasted coconut," said Dworshak.

Locally-sourced polenta is smooth and creamy.. a satisfying starter.

"To boost the corn flavor we do a sweet corn puree inside of it, along with cheese and cream," he said.

But Dworshak guilds the lilly by adding candied bacon and pickled chiles, plus a garnish of sweet dried corn and fresh cilantro. Even his take on guac is unique, offering a puree that's embedded with pickled garlic, pine nuts and freshly-grated piloncillo, a Mexican unrefined brown sugar; even more interesting, no tortilla chips, but rather, one from rice, the other from corn masa.

"And it's meant to be almost a child of a Ritz cracker and a tortilla," said Dworshak.

So what is Modern Mexican? Well, instead of that chunky guacamole, an avocado puree; instead of tortilla chips, rice crackers and corn crackers; and instead of that typical masa wrapping around the tacos, some have hibiscus tea in them.

2013 W. Division St.