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What’s in a name? For chef Troy Guard, pretty much everything: His initials grace the titles of three of his restaurants (TAG, TAG Raw Bar, and TAG Burger Bar). So christening his just-opened Mexican eatery Los Chingones may seem like a departure. That is, until you realize the words translate to “kick ass” in Spanish. (In addition, you might recall the similarly named Los Chingones burger at TAG Burger and the Los Chingones roll at TAG Raw. Los Chingones has also been the title of Guard’s brother’s fantasy football team for more than a decade.)
Naming aside, you will find “kick ass” food and drink at the eatery, which opened last week. The menu mixes the familiar (guacamole, enchiladas, tamales) with dishes that take a little liberty (pig ear nachos, hummus topped with charred pico de gallo, and butternut squash street tacos). What’s consistent throughout the offerings are the bold additions and twists that Guard has become known for. The octopus taco, pictured, is just one example.
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Guard confits the protein for 12 hours before piling it on a tortilla with shredded cabbage, pasilla chiles, and crispy parsnips. The kicker is a blood orange glaze that adds a jolt of citrus and a sprinkling of scallions for snap. The octopus is exquisitely cooked and Guard’s combination creates a new category of seafood tacos.
FYI: Los Chingones should not to be confused with El Chingon, a Mexican restaurant of similar name that opened at 4326 Tennyson St. last week. This is a new location for the popular Arvada eatery that closed in 2012.
2461 Larimer St., 303-295-0686