If you are anything like me, you’ve been dying to know what’s happening with the old Pasture space. I’m not going to lie, when I heard the owners of Maya had taken over and were going to open another concept there, I was skeptical. Right across the street? Well, The Pink Flamingo quietly opened on the day before Thanksgiving, and thanks to a call from a friend in the neighborhood, I stopped in to check it out.
The Pink Flamingo Concept
Like I said, this new spot is owned by the same people as Maya Modern Mexican. However, while The Pink Flamingo also picks up Mexican inspiration, the cuisine is California Baja-inspired, calling on flavors from beach side resorts found in Cabo and Ensenada. Like these beachy resorts, the feeling is more casual and relaxed.
Structurally, the space is unchanged from the Pasture layout and the decor is still evolving. New modern chandelier lighting and a wall mural featuring Holly Golightly mingle with rich wood tones for a colorful, modern ambiance that visually underscores a casual menu, welcoming grazing and gabbing. More murals are in the works and I’m guessing more decor to complete the look. The big kitchen windows will allow diners to watch the chefs prepare fresh tortillas daily.
The Pink Flamingo Menu
Food selections feature lots of bocaditos (small plates) and tacos. There are only about three entrees as the menu is geared to sharing and trying lots of things. I sampled several dishes.
The empanadas are made in house with a soft corn exterior and a spice-filled, but not too spicy, beef filling. The pickled peppers on top were bright and flavorful.
Mango molasses ribs over Mexican slaw were fall-off-the bone tender and obviously slow cooked. The sweetness was balanced with the savory char-grilled flavor and the zippy slaw underneath served as the perfect texture contrast.
Nacho fans definitely won’t want to miss The Pink Flamingo’s big bowl of nacho flavor. Carnitas, mango, pineapple, black beans, salsa, guacamole and jack cheese sauce cover layers of corn chips. The fruits provided a nice freshness and the jack cheese had more of a zip than traditional queso. The carnitas added the right bit of savory crunch. This dish is perfect for sharing.
I didn’t try a taco on my visit, but with the house-made tortillas, I’m looking forward to a return visit for them. Both the bourbon skirt steak taco and the Farmer, featuring butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, hen of the woods mushrooms, and guacamole, are calling to me.
There’s also a raw bar menu with a tasty sounding ceviche made with calamari, salmon, red snapper, orange, red onion, cilantro and avocado.
The manager told me the menu will continue to grow and evolve, but this seemed like a solid starting lineup to me.
Drinks at The Pink Flamingo
No surprise, margaritas are the signature here. The namesake Pink Flamingo Margarita features house-made guava mix and is tart, fruity, and a tad sweet without being overly sugary. The classic margarita and the mojito are also both well balanced as well. I hear a larger drink menu is in the works, so stay tuned.
Happy Hour at The Pink Flamingo
Happy Hour runs from 3 to 7 p.m. every day and includes discounted drinks and appetizers. We enjoyed $1 oysters, $2 off margaritas and two empanadas for $5 (usually $3 each).