Long before it was cool to do fusion food, Chino Bandido arrived on the scene in Phoenix. This was back in 1990 when interracial marriages were barely okay, let alone interracial food. But Chino Bandido found something that worked – Asian and Hispanic food and hasn’t looked back. So while the name is a reference to Chinese and Mexican food, things like Cuban Beans and Teriyaki Chicken tell a larger tale.
It’s pretty rare, but sometimes it’s good to break free of Mexican fast-food and slow, yet still greasy Mexican food. To make this jump, I went to the Border Grill in Santa Monica and attempted to class-up my Mexican repertoire.
They actually had a surprisingly welcome selection of unvegan options and I was torn between a few of the dishes. The steep prices may have ended up playing a role in my final selection, which was still pretty pricey at $15. This was one of their specials, the Chicken Adobo Quesadilla. Adobo is a great seasoning, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. It came with manchego, panela and cotija cheeses inside, and mizuna salad, salsa fresca, guacamole and sour cream on the outside. I ordered mine without the mizuna salad and although I’m not entirely sure what “mizuna” means, I know it involved vegetables I didn’t want to eat.