The Mochomos Plate at Little Water Cantina

Photo by Julien Perry
What looks like a plate of spun sugar is actually dried beef. "The mochomos plate ($12) is my favorite thing to turn people onto here," says Little Water Cantina sous, and this week's Grillaxin subject, Cameo McRoberts. "It looks like a tower of frizzly meat with onions delicately placed on top. It can totally look really pretentious, but you get tortillas with it and the idea is you take your fork and just smash the whole thing together and make these tacos. You get a little bit of sauce, which really has that smokey, dried chili flavor, and then you get the fat and the creaminess of the guacamole and you get the crispy saltiness of the meat. It's really fun."

The dish is adapted from the idea of eating cecina, a dried beef consumed by folks in Mexico who live in areas where cows aren't exactly plentiful.

"They'll rehydrate the meat in a sauce or something, but we're kind of taking it and creating this dish with guajillo chili sauce, which is this bright-red, really vibrant kind of chili flavor," explains McRoberts. "And then we've got a little bit of guacamole on it that's got a bunch of roasted tomatillos and serranos in it. I like it because I get to play around and make pretty, precious food that you get to smash and eat and not feel bad about it."

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