Los chingones is the latest venture for denver restaurateur, troy garud and this vibrant and bold contemporary mexican restaurant is following suit with gaurd’s other successful dining spots in denver. Regardless if you stop in for a casual lunch, belly up to the bar for a cocktail or get rowdy late into the evening hours on the upstairs patio, your senses will be taken over on all levels. Loud music, in-your-face flavors, vivid colors, aromatic scents from the kitchen and a mix of textures all play together nicely to bring energy and excitement to your dining experience.

Now before I get ahead of myself and jump right into the food, let me set the scene from the moment you walk in. A beautiful floor-to-ceiling mural full of movement and color draws your eyes across the open kitchen in the main dining space to a happening bar (full of hipsters and foodies) at the back of the room. Modern light fixtures, large community tables, no-fuss concrete floors and dia de los muertos accent tiles fill the open-concept space. This place is consistently busy so if you happen to snag a booth, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise you are rubbing elbows (in a good way of course) with other diners at one of two bars on the first floor or sitting at one of the long community tables.

Gaurd’s take on mexican food is a spin-off of traditional fare, but dialed up with bold flavor profiles and a few modern twists. The house-made tortilla chips pair great with los chingones’ garden guac; creamy avocado mixed with pumpkin seeds, tomato, sweet corn and zucchini, as does the gooey and slightly spicy chorizo fundido. A visit here would not be complete without an order of the enchiladas. The tender chicken is wrapped up in a corn tortilla with oaxaca cheese and then covered in a smoky guajillo sauce that has such a great depth of flavor you will want to lick it off the plate. Another item not to miss would be the roasted brussel sprouts. The slightly-sweet flavor from the caramelization on the brussel sprouts balances the hint of chile and lime perfectly, you will want to order another round.

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The main item to order off los chingones’ menu are street tacos. There are over a dozen tacos to choose from, all of which you can order a la carte for $3.5 each. Options range from skirt steak with black beans, avocado and peppers + onions, to shrimp with a chipotle cream to one of my personal favorites, butternut squash with crunchy kale, goat cheese and spiced pumpkin seeds. I have not had a chance to try some of the more adventurous tacos, such as the beef tongue with charred tomatillo or the lamb neck with a spicy arbol corn salsa but I am sure they are delicious. However, on a recent lunch visit, the ‘wild card’ taco was a tilapia ceviche with pickled fresno chilies and it did not disappoint; the heat of the chilies balanced the acidity of the ceviche and yet, the delicate fish did not get lost in the other ingredients.

I honestly can say, I have not ate one bad thing at los chingones thus far and I know my visits back with be often. Troy gaurd has a lot of competition in the denver marketplace with pinche tacos, comida, machete, uno mas and margs (just to name a few) all within a 10 mile radius of each other but if los chingones continues to put out delicious food, then the success of this restaurant will be long and plentiful. 

Written by Jaime

South on Broadway is a Denver based food + lifestyle blog for lovers of food, fashion and design. a destination for daily inspiration

    2 Comments

  1. Kristen June 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    This sounds delicious! We might have to try it this weekend.

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