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Mi Lindo Yucatan

Understated Yucatecan Food in Noe Valley

Those unfamiliar with Yucatecan cuisine may expect too much from Mi Lindo Yucatan. The atmosphere is pleasant, the service is friendly, and the food is underwhelming. Simple chicken broths, turkey dishes and plain tomato sauces are staples at the quiet Noe Valley restaurant. Fogheads and hipsters will feel equally at ease. You won't find excitement in the understated décor of maracas and wooden tables. The pork is really where to find the action.

Two salsas will grace your table aside your chips. One -- the habanero -- is far too hot to eat, unless you have super numb-tongue powers. The other -- made from pumpkin seeds -- is deliciously creamy, and appropriate for all. For appetizers, the pickled radish highlighted the natural flavors in the pork tacos de cochinita ($2). One would think that the combination of banana leaves, spinach and pumpkin in the brazo de reina ($6) would hold some surprise, but it tastes more like polenta.

All the turkey dishes were very well done. That being said, they were all reminiscent of southern Italian food. The meat in the relleno de pavo blanco ($8) was tender and the flour-based broth did not overpower the taste of the bird. The poc chuc ($8) stole the entrée show. More flavorful than anything else, although a little heavy on the grease, the dish featured tender pork in abundance. What made the dish was the mole-style black beans. The only danger is that the sweetness in the sauce could dissuade a customer from trying the near perfect flan ($3) for desert. The body of the dish broke down -- as all good flan should -- in Swiss-precise layers with the action of the spoon. The caramel hung perfectly between melted and burnt.
Small surprises like the delicious pork dishes and the pumpkin salsa are the reason to visit Mi Lindo Yucatan. The sangria ($7 per pitcher) isn't bad either.