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Mezcalito brings new culinary twist to Rocklin

By: Brody Fernandez, Lead Reporter for South Placer
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Mezcalito Oaxacan Cuisine 

  • Where: 5065 Pacific St., Rocklin
  • When: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Mondays - Saturdays and 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sundays 
  • Info: 916-701-4772 or  mezcalitocuisine.com 

Mezcalitos is a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with plenty of choices for wine and beer as well. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of desserts. One favorite is the Mezcal ice cream dessert, derived from the Agave plant used to make tequila. Mezcal is a tasty flavor unique to Mexico that creates a fun and tasty adult-themed frozen treat. 

Mezcalito Oaxacan Cuisine in Rocklin is not your ordinary Mexican style restaurant. Opening last Dec. 4, this Oaxaca-style Mexican restaurant is creating a lot of buzz around town. 

Dishes originating from the southern part of Mexico are created here. 

“We are switching things up here,” said owner and general manager Ruben Regalado. “We are bringing something that no one else has in this area. These dishes are authentic to a different region of Mexico that most restaurants around here don’t offer.” 

The Oaxaca (Wa-hah-ka’s) specials are the No. 1 seller. These dishes are served on a 14-inch plate with a Mexican-style flat bread tostada topped with fresh produce and quality beef, all of which are organic. Top sellers include The Oaxaca’s Favorite, which is organic Rocky’s chicken topped with choice of Mole rojo (red), or Mole verde (green) sauce served with Spanish rice and beans. 

The Tasajo dish is considered “Oaxaca’s Traditional Meal” where the entree includes thinly-cut prime rib steak along with sauteed mushrooms and grilled onions. The Tlayuda dish is a large crispy corn tortilla starting with a black bean paste as the foundation and topped with cabbage, shredded queso (cheese blends) and fresh organic avocados and tomatoes as a finish. 

Growing up in Salinas, Regalado now 32, has been involved in the restaurant business since he was 19.

“At first, I have never even heard of Rocklin, but since we moved here, there have been nothing but warm welcomes from the community,” Regalado said. “Originally, when we started talking and looking for locations in the East Bay and couldn’t find a location that met our needs, we finally saw a listing all the way out here in Rocklin and the rest is history.” 

It wasn’t easy at first for the new restaurant, according to Regalado.

“It was scary the first week. There were three to four guests on average for the first couple days, and then over the weekend, it started rolling,” Regalado said. “There was a 45-minute wait as soon as late January and up to an one hour and 15 minute wait in February.” 

Regalado said that the restaurant “so far, It has over-exceeded our expectations.” 

The man behind the food and behind the kitchen is co-owner and head chef Francisco Garcia. Originally from Sonoma, Garcia was also unfamiliar with Placer County. 

“We (Regalado and I) were first-timers in starting a new business and no real estate venue or owner of a building is really going to say yes right away from fear of turnover and calculated risk,” Garcia said. “But here in Rocklin is where we got our first opportunity and now we’re seizing the moment.” 

Garcia explained why Mezcalitos is experiencing so much business and positive reviews.

 “Our unique preparation and process to cooking really makes us stand out,” Garcia said. “We use more herbs and spices incorporated with much slower ‘over the fire’ cooking process called barbacoa.”