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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Quote:

Binky wrote:
Taqueria did that before them!


Yes, I forgot. I sit corrected. So maybe rather than a switch it's a trend. JC as a restaurant incubator.

Posted on: 2014/3/26 12:11
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Taqueria did that before them!

Posted on: 2014/3/26 11:55
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ÓRALE MEXICAN KITCHEN Cristina Castañeda, an owner of the short-lived Cafe Frida on Amsterdam Avenue, has joined with new partners to turn it into a branch of a Jersey City Mexican restaurant: 768 Amsterdam Avenue (97th Street), 212-749-2929, oralemk.com.

Here's a switch - JC resto opening branch in Manhattan.

Posted on: 2014/3/26 11:52
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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The first time I went there I did not notice that you only picked one taco for the plate of 3. I pointed to the menu item and asked for 3 different tacos. Instead of pointing out that you only get one selection, I got three entrees plates set in front of me. Was with 5 other people, all of whom had ordered their entrees already so it's not like I was ordering for the table... we had had a bunch of apps already too, so obviously I didn't need all that food.

Not holding a grudge, but it is one of the more absurd things I have experienced at any restaurant.

One other note, and this might have changed: you chose rice OR beans with the plate. If you wanted both one had to be ordered as a side at 4 or 6 bucks, can't remember. ridiculous...

Posted on: 2014/2/28 18:14
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Setting
Review of Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City

The New York Times
By FRAN SCHUMERFEB. 27, 2014

The minute you enter Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City, you can see that the person who decorated it has a fine eye for design. Note, in particular, the beautifully lit bottles of Jarritos soda, in colors that reflect their flavors (lime, strawberry, fruit punch, mandarin and grapefruit). After a flight of tequila and a round of guacamole studded with unexpected treats, like cubes of Cabrales blue cheese or juicy pineapple, you know you are in for more than just visual delights.

Beginning with bocadillos, or snacks, the menu features more adventurous items than are typically found in the standard Mexican-American repertoire. Esquites, a soupy mix of slightly charred corn kernels moistened with lime-spiked mayonnaise, comes with three different toppings: queso fresco; epazote, a pungent herb reminiscent of anise; and the kitchen’s seriously fiery chile de árbol.

The guacamole comes with other unusual trimmings, but few of those dressed-up versions are as satisfying as the one served with blue cheese — toasted pepitas are in it, too — and the one brightened with pineapple cubes. The plain guacamole features fat, creamy chunks of ripe avocado, but it lacks flavor. Even garnished with guajillo shrimp it remains dull, which is surprising given the distinctively earthy flavor guajillo chiles usually impart.

The best dinners at Órale are the unorthodox ones. Tacos with beer-battered hake or halibut, depending on the season, have a crispy texture and more verve than the ubiquitous tacos made with tilapia. Delicate rather than greasy, the fish rests on a cabbage slaw brightened with soy sauce and lime. A squirt of chipotle-orange sauce adds smoke and a touch of creaminess. Three of these tacos served with a feisty red rice make a filling meal.

Dinosaurio, an entree of one huge short rib served with the bone, speaks to the Argentine roots of James Muir, the talented consulting and executive chef. Born in a country known for beef, Mr. Muir avoids the common errors of marinating his short rib in too much liquid and cooking it for so long that it disintegrates. In this case, the meat is firm but easy to cut, and has heat, but not too much, thanks to the ancho and chipotle-chile marinade. I made the mistake of tasting the accompanying side dishes first, and gobbling them all up before even tasting the beef. They included a seductively creamy polenta lightened with fresh corn and accented with anise, and a cumin-spiked tomato and tomatillo compote that warms you from within.

Another dish worth sampling is the trio of shrimp empanadas. The world is full of doughy empanadas; Órale’s are almost paper-thin, allowing the rich flavors of the spinach and poblano chiles that give the masa its greenish tinge to emerge. Queso flameado, a mix of Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses, is a Mexican take on fondue. Hot, gooey and bubbly, it is hard for grown-ups to resist and, as Mr. Muir said on the phone after my visits, “Every kid who tries it loves it.”

Sampling the rest of the menu is like riding a roller coaster, the experience full of dazzling highs and mystifying lows. In spite of the vibrant pineapple-guajillo sauce around the pan-seared salmon, the fish itself lacks flavor. Interesting vegetables fill the vegetarian enchiladas, but they need seasoning. Finally, the mole blanketing the slender enchiladas Jarochas offer none of the complexity of moles from Veracruz, the region for which this dish is named. The flavor of the chocolate comes through, but not of the hazelnuts, sesame seeds, almonds or other interesting ingredients.

Thrills return with desserts, two of which might easily be candidates for one’s best-ever categories: a vanilla flan that is almost a soufflé, airy yet dense, and a tres leches cake that is a wet, milky mass of pleasure. The sauce running down the side of the cake is the essence of fresh strawberries: sweet, juicy and vibrant. I could eat spoonfuls.

Louis Alvarez and Alex Mendelsohn, both formerly of the Rosa Mexicano empire, opened Órale last April. Since then, it has attracted crowds. Customers climbed over snow drifts just to get there. (The name, Órale, derives from a Mexican expression that loosely translated means “O.K.!”) Mr. Mendelsohn was born in New Jersey, Mr. Alvarez in Ecuador. Although Mr. Alvarez began working at McDonald’s to pay for college, he distinguished himself at so many of the restaurants where he subsequently worked that at 46, he still had not made it to college. “I am about halfway toward achieving the American dream,” he said.

Órale, too, is on its way. With more care, it could offer a smoother, more consistent ride.


Órale Mexican Kitchen
341 Grove Street
Jersey City
(201) 333-0001

oralemk.com

GOOD

THE SPACE Warm and lively interior designed to evoke a Mexican street. The main dining area seats 55, and an adjacent smaller room, 30. Wheelchair accessible.

THE CROWD Mostly customers in their late 20s through 40s. Families with children earlier in the evening and on weekends. One night the service was great; another night, distracted.

THE BAR A long bar seats 22 people. There are more than 30 tequilas ($8 to $95 a glass). Cocktails, $7 to $13; beers, both draft and bottled, $5 to $6; about a dozen wines by the bottle, $21 to $32, or by the glass, $6 to $10.

THE BILL Appetizers, $5 to $12; entrees, $9 to $28; desserts, $6. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Diners Club are accepted.

WHAT WE LIKED Esquites; guacamole with blue cheese and toasted pepitas; guacamole with fresh pineapple; shrimp empanadas; queso flameado; tacos with beer-battered fish; dinosaurio; flan; tres leches cake.

IF YOU GO Dinner: Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 4 to 11 p.m.; and Sundays, 5 to 9 p.m. Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 3 p.m. Reservations suggested, especially for large groups. Parking on the street and in local garages.

RATINGS Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/nyr ... -in-jersey-city.html?_r=0

Posted on: 2014/2/28 0:51
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Re: Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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Congrats to Orale! To the chef (who apparently has Salvadoran roots) -- put pupusas on the menu and I'll be there every day! (Great food either way.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pupusa

Posted on: 2013/12/18 22:30
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Re: Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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Never understood why they are mutually exclusive.

Posted on: 2013/12/18 21:53
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Re: Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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Be careful, many Orale' haters on here. Big Taqueria crowd.

Quote:

YouniqPilates wrote:
We love Orale. Very creative menus.

Posted on: 2013/12/18 21:46
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Re: Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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..and I like being called a hipster.

Posted on: 2013/12/18 21:35
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Re: Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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We love Orale. Very creative menus.

Posted on: 2013/12/18 21:33
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Review of Orale in NJ Monthly
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Posted on: 2013/12/18 20:41
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I'd surprised by the negativity in it, but definitely agree with them on the bone marrow tacos. They should have also mentioned the bone marrow tacos are the greasiest thing going.

Posted on: 2013/10/18 19:15
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Solid review in today's Star Ledger. Speaks well of the restaurant as well as JC, a destination for cool joints like this.

Orale Mexican Kitchen another Jersey City scene restaurant
By Teresa Politano

As Day of the Dead celebrations go, Orale Mexican Kitchen holds lots of promise. This year will be the restaurant’s first, and the vibe couldn’t be more perfect.

Orale Mexican Kitchen wondrously combines the serious and the vivid, the somber and the celebratory. You have floor-to-ceiling exposed brick walls, sparkly pressed tin ceilings and a sinister, imposing dungeon door that leads to the back dining room. Then you have a display of brightly colored sodas that are lined up like chorus dancers and shimmering amid their back-lighting, an equally clever and humorous display of soccer balls and bar stools the colors of jellybeans. Plus, and perhaps most important, you have an absolute mind swim of tequilas — who knew so many varieties existed?

Check the rest here:
http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin ... ity_scene_restaurant.html

Posted on: 2013/10/18 12:50
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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We went here for the second time last night. Great service, great guacamole and the small plates have been fantastic. A great addition to the restaurant rotation!

Posted on: 2013/7/26 15:43
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Good food...little pricey...but I think NYC is coming to DTJC now....so I guess it's fitting. still like taqueria better.

Posted on: 2013/6/20 23:33
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I finally had a chance to check out Orale last night and I must say I'm impressed. The space is HUGE and was crowded even on a Weds night at 8:30pm. They really did a nice job with the decor. They definitely tried something different for the area and I think they pulled it off very well.

We had guacamole, enchiladas, and tacos. They were all very good but I think I'll just go to Taqueria if I want tacos and guac going forward since it's much less expensive and I think Taqueria does a better job of those things. I'd absolutely return for things like the ceviches and empanadas (foie gras empanadas!), and some of the more adventurous tacos (bone marrow).

Orale is definitely on the pricey side but I understand that you're paying for more than just the food at this place. The ambience is great, the space is awesome and totally different than anywhere else in JC, and the service is absolutely impreccable. Really....the service, WOW, my compliments to the staff there. Some of the best I've had in a while.

Judging by the crowd it looks like this place is absolutely going to succeed and I love that places like this are opening up Downtown. I hope we can see more places that are willing to take a risk and do something different in the area.

Good stuff!

Posted on: 2013/6/20 13:46
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Posted on: 2013/6/7 5:11
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I Like it, its not very expensive but it is not JC cheap. BTW they are now open for lunch. :)

Posted on: 2013/5/30 19:45
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I was there last night with three friends, it was nice. Its not the best place I have ever been to, but its one of nicest places downtown. Friendly staff, tasty food, and cold beer. The prices are very NYC so bring extra cash.

Posted on: 2013/5/30 11:10
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I went Friday and split 4 or 5 small plates and guac. All were delicious. The drinks were great too. We did not try any of the entrees yet but plan on going back there and I would recommend it to anyone. I thought the menu had a creative twist, which I really appreciate. Not just a chicken or beef taco kind of place. Excited to have this in the neighborhood!

Posted on: 2013/5/28 20:43
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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have been for drinks and small plate and also for dinner. will go back for margaritas and the guacamole or the melted cheese in the skillet (that's very good) but probably not for dinner. the mains weren't noteworthy. the special scallops dish wasn't very tasty. my mate's tacos were better but not that great.
really like the energy of the place. the drinks are good as are the hot sauces. will be back.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 19:04
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I really wanted to like this place but it wasn't as awesome as this thread made it sound.

ambience, service was fine but the food was a little lacking. Also we sat at one of those tables with the mosaic top. Looks nice, but hard to tell if dirty and when I removed my arm I noticed a sticky residue on my shirt.

Food was just okay, which means i'll go back if someone wants to go but not one of the first places I'd hit.

Guacomole was pretty cold, which suggests it was sitting in the fridge.
Ceviche was too limey
Al Pastor taco was dry and tough.

Anyway, everything looked good and no complaints on the the other dishes but no praises either.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 15:57
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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The HDSID is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for Orale on Thursday, June 6: https://www.facebook.com/events/310541625742927/

There will be free appetizers and drink specials from 5pm to 6pm.

Posted on: 2013/5/28 14:29
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Stopped in for dinner on Saturday night (had a reservation). Food, atmosphere, and service were awesome. Had a blast! Will definitely be going back!

Posted on: 2013/5/28 13:26
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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meh. i'll just link to my yelp review. honestly, there's a good argument to have it two stars - it really just isn't all that great, and especially not at that price.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/orale-mexican ... id:AA24qmeiSLHPQZcIGp3mQQ

Posted on: 2013/5/27 18:02
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Great place, and a great addition to JC. I Hope the community supports it.

Good operators. Good food.

Posted on: 2013/5/27 4:27
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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The food is really delicious but the kitchen needs to work on timing. If some people order tacos as a main course and other order large plates, there's no excuse for a waiter to tell you that some dishes will before others because we don't keep food under heat lamps. If it takes less time to make the tacos than the mole, then start the tacos later.

I will return for the food but will continue to be annoyed by this.

Posted on: 2013/5/13 0:04
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Orale is AWESOME. Some really high quality restaurants are entering the downtown scene. Hopefully the mediocre-and-below spots will slowly be displaced.

Posted on: 2013/5/11 3:31
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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Just got back from an impromptu dinner at Orale. Had a great time! The tiraditos, duck & shrimp empandadas, fish taco were amazing! Would def return. The decor food, service and decor were great. No, it's not cheap. But it's worth its price given the whole experience. Welcome addition to downtown JC restaurant scene.

Posted on: 2013/5/11 2:26
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Re: Orale Mexican Kitchen
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I have been there twice now and we love it .... its definitely not a tex mex giant plate of rice and beans type place but for me that is a good thing.

my favorites have been the guac w the pork belly - those salty crispy little chunks with the smooth creamy guac are just amazing - why waste is on a chip! spoon it right in!

I also really enjoyed the halibut ceviche - good size portion (for a ceviche) and it was delicious

also loving the tacos - sort of like the taqueria style tacos so more small authentic mexican but really elevated with some of their ingredient choices....

oh and don't forget the sauces on the table -- I love the green one and the chipotle the red was a bit too hot for me (but my BF loved it)

I agree on the sangria- portion was a bit small for the price and that the service is still working out the kinks (our first time there our queso order never arrive and our second time things came out in what i would say was an odd order) but I will 100% be going back very soon and often - its not a cheap place but I wouldn't call it a once a year splurge either.... definitely date night appropriate/girls night etc

Posted on: 2013/5/4 17:55
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