If you want to taste a fine-dining chef’s homage to his country’s folk cuisine, look no further than Guadalajara’s Trasfonda, brought to the eating public by the creators of Restaurante Alcalde (see review in Reporter, December 23, 2017 ), recently named 36th best restaurant in Latin America.
In today’s blemish-magnifying social media glare, people of even modest renown feel compelled to apply chalky foundation and rouge to the countenances of their public image. And chefs, those terrorizers of countless line cooks, servers and assistant managers, are no exception.
One stratagem these Croc-wearing leviathans employ to boost their public image is to open a satellite restaurant that offers what they deem as more grounded fare, a glint for the unwashed masses of the chef’s genius that would otherwise blind (or bankrupt) the naked eye of the average pleb. Notable culinary sideshows range from normal sit-down restaurants like Bouchon in Napa, opened by the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, to fast-casual joints like burger spot Shake Shack in New York, founded by legendary restauranteur Danny Meyer as a pop-up inside the rarified Eleven Madison Park. Many of these second-act establishments have even managed to creep out from their progenitors’ long shadows and establish their own identity – plucky artistic apprentices successfully striking out on their own.
Trasfonda, a tiny jog west of Chapultepec in the Colonia Americana neighborhood, hews to that same model, being a more casual side-car to Restaurante Alcalde, Guadalajara’s haute Shangri-La. It features comforting mainstays of Mexican cooking the same way the aforementioned Bouchon offers French bistro classics like mussels and french fries and escargot.