Ventura addition
Unusual Mexican restaurant opens in beach city
As foodies and tequila enthusiasts may know, NOM (short for Norma Oficial Mexicana) is a stamp of authenticity for 100% Mexican agave tequila. Head Chef Luis Martinez of the new NOM Tequila Grill in the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach has taken the geographic context a step further, with authentic fare sourced from various Mexican regions. The cuisine at NOM Tequila Grill might have its culinary roots in Mexico with French and Spanish influences, but the ingredients on the menu are farm fresh and locally sourced.

NOM Tequila Grill is “green certified” with the City of Ventura. “We hand squeeze all our fruit, make our own tortillas and source our fish from ocean farms. Almost all our produce comes from sustainable farms and orchards,” explains Martinez.

While NOM dishes have the same names of well-known “Americanized” Mexican fare, guests will be in for a tasty surprise. “Our chile relleno is not your typical cheese, egg and green chili dish,” explains Martinez. “NOM’s chile relleno starts with roasted Poblano peppers stuffed with pork picadillo and then smothered with a tomato-chili sauce.”

NOM’s menu contains favorite dishes from Guadalupe, Puebla, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Yucatan and central Mexico. “NOM Tequila Grill is the first truly authentic Mexican restaurant in Ventura,” says Martinez, who hails from Jalisco, Mexico. “We use many of the traditional Mexican flavors and ingredients I grew up with into our menu items.” Not surprisingly, the restaurant incorporates tequila into many of its dishes. It offers mixed cocktails, and 17 different kinds of tequila from the bar—by the shot or in flights of three (“tequila flats”).

Desserts are often an afterthought at most Mexican restaurants. At NOM, desserts take center stage. Standouts are the “Impossible Cake,” a chocolate cake topped with vanilla flan, Kahlua sauce and fresh berries and a “Cheese Cake Chimichanga,” covered with tequila raspberry sauce.

The overriding theme of the restaurant is “authentic, fun and friendly.” NOM staff went through a two-week training program prior to the restaurant’s soft opening in November. “All our staff members are extremely knowledgeable about the foods and drinks we serve and are happy to share their knowledge with our guests,” says Michael Dona, the Crowne Plaza’s director of food and beverage.

Only steps from the beach, the NOM Tequila Grill in the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is open for lunch and dinner. For more information visit www.nomtequilagrill.com/ and VenturaCountyWest.com.
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