“Al pastor,” or “shepherd style,” usually refers to a Mexican dish which consists of seasoned and marinated pork. (The Lebanese are believed to have introduced this cooking technique to Mexico, where it’s considered a staple at many restaurants.)
Traditionally, a boneless pork shoulder is marinated in dried chilies, spices, pineapple, and achiote paste, and is then slow-cooked in a vertical spit-roast, (called a trompo), under charcoal of gas flames. Bay leaf, clove, cumin, garlic, guajillo chili, and vinegar are commonly cooked into, or served with, the meat.
So, when we saw the “Grouper Al Pastor — Orange peel, annatto seed, cashew, finger lime, caramelized shallot” ($42 pre-tax/tip), we decided to give it a try; particularly after our waiter told us it was his “favorite” dish.
Interestingly, grouper is considered a “forgiving fish,” that can be overcooked yet remains juicy. Alas, a lot of forgiveness was direly needed — and missing — here, as this meat came to the table “dry.” (And the tartness of the finger lime stood out … not in a good way.) We disliked everything about this dish, including its $51+ price tag (approx.; post-tax/tip).
After rating it an “F,” we asked that it be immediately shepherded away from our table ….
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