Xacalli Kitchen Presents a Valle de Guadalupe Vibe in Rustic Silverado Canyon

Xacalli serves regional Mexican cuisine and incorporates wood and other materials from a century-old lemon-packing plant.
Photograph Courtesy of Xacalli Kitchen

Hailed for his years as executive chef at highly regarded Chaak in Tustin and Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen in Orange, Vincent Espinoza launches Xacalli (ha-call-ee), presenting regional Mexican cuisine and a Valle de Guadalupe vibe in rustic Silverado Canyon. An aged-bass and octopus ceviche channels Ensenada; U10 prawns asado with tamarind, habanero, Fresno escabeche, and spearmint has its roots in Tepoztlán; the birria with guajillo-braised lamb shank, onion escabeche, and salsa quemado evokes Jalisco. A tight list of superior cocktails puts Mexican spins on classics. The Tamarindo Mule marries mezcal, tamarind, and ancho liqueur with the requisite ginger beer. Spirits include three dozen tequilas and mezcals. The Nahuatl word xacalli refers to a thatched adobe hut, but the restaurant and bar incorporate wood and other materials from the Irvine Co.’s century-old lemon-packing plant and the Barn restaurant that more recently occupied the spot. 28222 Silverado Canyon Road, Silverado, 657-314-9042, xacallikitchen.com