Oh Mi Cocina, I’ve loved you from the moment I first laid eyes on you in Highland Park Village three years ago. Your modern decor, your swanky family attendees, your addictive Tex-Mex and of course your ‘Mambo Taxis‘. I would wait 45 minutes for one of your tables any night of the week.
Mi Cocina has been a consistent favorite of mine since I first came to Southern Methodist University, but the HP Village one, not the Uptown one. I had never made the journey down the expressway because I didn’t think I needed to, I had all the ‘Mambo Taxis’ and Tacos “De Brisket” I needed right here in Park Cities. But I’m here to tell you, it was worth the trip.
The two MICOs have identical menus but entirely different atmospheres, and it’s easy to understand why. Going to SMU, I’ve been deep in the heart of “family land” for over three years now. Banditos, Patrizios, Kyoto and more are consistently overrun with children and Highland Park high-schoolers, but escape to the 20-Something haven of Uptown and you’ve entered an alternate MICO (Bizarro MICO) where the well-dressed children and trophy wives are few and far between.
I wouldn’t necessarily say this was a better MICO, but it was a refreshingly new experience. A crowd of swanky 20-Somethings dominated the bar, replacing the gossiping HP mom set. There was even what I would assume was a Mavs player; he was about 7 feet tall and I would have asked him but I didn’t have a crane handy. Stepping up to the bar for the inevitable wait (just because this is Bizarro MICO doesn’t mean they accept reservations now), I immediately felt like a member of the in-crowd, although I deeply regretted not wearing heels. I started with a ‘Mambo Taxi’ (classic) and then moved on to something called ‘The Dilemma’. I’m not sure why it was called that, but it was colorful and and didn’t cause me the anxiety that a normal dilemma would, so I approve.
The Mcrowd is dedicated to making each of their restaurants become a part of the neighborhood they serve, ensuring that “no two Mi Cocinas look alike”. They certainly live up to their word. So the next time you’re stepping out with your family on a Friday night, Highland Park is the way to go. If you’d rather not deal with the young ones, Uptown it is.