eatAspen.com

Aspen, Colorado's local dining guide.

eatAspen.com

Aspen, Colorado's local dining guide.

Zocalito Latin Bistro

User Reviews

Emery

Aspen, Colorado

June 9, 2012
My feet started dancing to an unknown Latin beat, drifting along on the spicy scent of chili powder. My family and I were aimlessly strolling around the Hyman Mall, enjoying Aspen's incredible beauty when something captured my attention. I followed the medley, leading me towards a small alley. I looked up, and saw a bright and colored sign reading Zocalito. As I turned the corner, I found various chairs and tables set for two, leading down the alley. I cruised forward, eventually finding the entryway. My family, also entranced, followed me down the short staircase, the music and smells getting more intense. We emerged from the stairway into a brilliant orange dining room, with a small bar to our right. The bartender quickly swung out from behind the bar with a smile. "How many?, He asked. "A table for three please", we replied. He led us down a small hallway, towards the booths. At first, something caught my eye, even more pronounced than the "so tacky it's cool" orange and the artistic photographs lining the walls, but it was obstructed by the waiter, so I thought little of it. The waiter stepped out of the way, pointing towards the booth in the back, revealing the astonishing objects behind him. Two authentic, fire spitting, wood carved Alebrijes stared back at me. Alebrijes are brightly colored, highly intricate, hand carved, dragon like figures found mainly in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. These amazing artifacts helped create the exotic and fun atmosphere we felt throughout the entire restaurant. The entrees were a bit on the pricy side, but there were many authentic and highly exotic meals. However, there was a great variety of Tapas which were more reasonably priced than the entrees. Even though Tapas are often treated as appetizers, it is always fun to order many of them to create a meal full of variety. I chose the Shrimp Sopes for $11, and the Pasillo de Oaxaca Relleno, for $14. I really enjoyed the Sopes. They consisted of refried beans, tomato, onion, cheese, and of course shrimp, garnished with green peppers and pickled Bermuda onions, dusted with a small dose of chili powder. They had a sort of shrimp essence, which was nice because there wasn’t any overwhelming "shrimpiness" to them. Even my sister enjoyed them, and she doesn't fancy seafood too much. The Sopes made me feel good and warm inside, with just a mild spiciness. All I can say about the Pasillo Relleno is this; "Wow". The chef personally brought the dish out to us. The Relleno is a stuffed chili pepper, covered in egg and deep fried. It was surrounded by pockets of fried black beans and the traditional Mole sauce. Before we cut into it, my father gave me some wisdom. "You can tell food is authentic, when the flavor is so special and uncommon, that you can say you have never tasted it before". I have never tasted this before. The traditional mustiness of the Mole, along with the skin of the chili sent my taste buds into a whirl. The spicy chili taste, then a strange unexpected smokiness, and then back to the Mole over and over again, each time in a different order with a unique texture. The chef returned and asked how the meal was. With tears in my eyes, I gave him the seal of approval; a simple thumbs up. We finished the Relleno and the rest of our tapas. Asking for the check, we looked around the Latin Bistro one more time. Zocalito offered a unique experience, right in our own backyard. It was funky, exciting, and a great place to escape from the same old-same old of school and work. It is a great choice for a massive variety of unbelievably authentic food, with enough spice to rival Thai. I had a fantastic, spicy, and memorable experience at Zocalito, and I hope to return as soon as possible. Read more reviews by Emery

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Sara M

Los Angeles

February 26, 2012
I spent my last evening in Aspen at a true hidden gem. We spent the evening in the bar area at a table for 6. It was quiet there and we munched on round after round of yummy, warm, tasty treats from the kitchen. All the plates (except for my bowl of soup!) were easily shared among the crew. Whenever we wanted something new, our server was quick to respond. And to top it off, if he didn't know an answer he ushered over the manager to assist. It was a wonderful way to end my trip back to the valley. I'll definitely come back the next time I'm in town.

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Ackman

Nantucket, MA

February 25, 2012
The five of us wanted to eat and have a few drinks at the last minute on a Saturday night. Looking to keep it casual and eat at the bar as opposed to the dining room we headed to a spot we've been meaning to dine at for awhile, but alas, the cool bar lounge we were aiming for was no more. The next restaurant bar choice was to packed to be accommodating to anyone, not a surprise at it was in the heart of a busy holiday weekend in Aspen. The initial disappointment in our dining search actually proved lucky for us as we eventually found our way to Zocalito. We arrived with perfect timing, after the earlier dinner rush and before the later seatings took hold and found a perfect table in Zocalito's Bar Lounge. Our group decided to order several different appetizers and entrees to share. There were also plenty drinks consumed around the table beginning with Classic Mojitos made to perfection and El Presidentes throughout dinner. I personally enjoyed the tortilla chips served with guacamole & salsa. The guacamole was nice and rich with a sprinkling of Mexican Panela Cheese. I then had the Grilled Vegetables for an entree. It was good, and had a lot of nice spice to it. It consisted of great mix of grilled squash, tomatillos, cactus, and poblanos & spicy peanuts sprinkled on top served with a side of rice. Then I had a bit of the chocolate flan, which was light and delicious. I was surprised, as I'm not big on desserts, but after a little encouragement from my fellow diners I tried it and really enjoyed it. We finished with a bottle of Muscat dessert wine which was divine. It was all amazing and I would highly recommend dining at Zocalito's.

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Dave

OKC

March 25, 2011
Believe the ratings.This place is very unpretentious with excellent tapas and entrees. Large menu so we eat here twice a week when we visit Aspen. Try eating at the bar (you actually get more choices). Great Mojito.

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Roger

erie, colorado

January 14, 2011
Don't believe the ratings. This restaurant was terrible. From the dining area to food, nothing I would ever want to repeat. Food was mediocre at best. I had the seafoof stew. The plate was hot, the mussle shells were almost cold to the touch. How does that happen. Overcooked seafood in a brown broth. Never again.

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Moniqua

Indianapolis

November 14, 2010
Wow. Loved this place. Charming casual atmosphere. Very friendly and attentive wait staff. But the food is what shines here. Holy red mole. Everything was so tasty it is hard to know where to start. Hubby and I split chicken rellenos which let us know early we were in for something special. Romaine salad with avocado dressing was more of a palate cleanser than anything. We then shared the pork tenderloin with red mole and the skirt steak with oaxan mozzarella. Both were very (appropriately) spicy and tasty. Cannot say enough good about this restaurant. Loved loved loved it! Will be thinking about this meal for a long time to come and has inspired me to cook southwestern when I get back home.

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Lisa

norman, ok

October 27, 2010
This is our favorite aspen restaurant. try the new peruvian chicken or the cactus & portabello mushroom skirt steak and definitely get manchego potatoes. we have traveled the world, and this is our favorite anywhere.

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Angela Kincade

Carbondale

September 6, 2010
Food was excellent....drinks EVEN better and I loved the environment. Great decor.

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Sue K.

Carbondale

January 16, 2010
Yum, Yum, Yum. This is the best food. I had grilled skirt steak with cactus, portabello, and goat cheese in this amazing sauce (off the tapas menu). If I was at home I would have licked the plate!

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Linda

Aspen, CO

September 2, 2009
I was very pleasantly surprised by this cute little downstairs restaurant on Aspen's Hyman Ave. mall. I've enjoyed drinks and delicious appetizers at the bar before, but this was my first dinner there. I had a pork tenderloin dish which was just amazing! I loved the balsamic sauce served over the pork. The garlic mashed potatoes were perfect. The service (provided by the bartender) was really good despite the fact he had a full bar to tend to also. My friend ordered a vegetarian entry which she said was amazing. I will return as soon as possible! I can't wait!!

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keri

Bryan,TX

March 28, 2009
Love! Love! Love!

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Pig E. (10+ Reviews)

Aspen

March 6, 2009
I have heard all about Zocalito bar special this winter. What a great deal it is! If you eat at the bar between 9 & 10pm, you receive half off your bar order! Three of us squeezed into a bar table even-though there wasn't much room. We wanted the half off special. Two margaritas and one sangria was ordered with cheese guacamole. The tortilla chips were very fresh and the guacamole was great! I had the fish tacos which came with three tacos. The tacos were very fresh and tasty. My companions both had the cheese quesadillas. My friend, Bob, said it wasn't the best quesadilla but you couldn't beat the price in Aspen. The bartender who served us seemed very frazzled and overwhelmed. He was the only one taking care of the bar and the entire restaurant. We wanted him to relax a bit. Other customers noticed it too. Overall we had 5 drinks, one shared appetizer, and three bar entrees for $55, not including tip. Best Deal In Aspen!

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