Sabor Cocina Mexicana is the SCV equivalent of a "stay-cation." You only have to travel to the Bridgeport Marketplace in Valencia to escape to an authentic, luxurious Mexican restaurant that feels distinctively south of the border - with a twist.
Known for organic, sustainable and local produce, meats and fish, this Santa Clarita mainstay is where SCV's foodies, influencers and "ladies who lunch" gather to dine on fine cuisine while sipping on just-made margaritas handcrafted with the freshest fruits and most coveted top-shelf tequilas.
As I sunk into the deep-cushioned seating surrounded by rich woods and custom finishes, my eyes drifted to the copper-topped bar where an artisan cocktail was being hand muddled. The scene felt entirely classic but also fresh - like an old black-and-white movie put into color. The authentic furniture and decor, imported from Guadalajara and inspired by Chef Lety's travels to colonial villages throughout Mexico, infused my experience with a sense of timelessness I soon would taste.
The ambience is a perfect partner to the chef's vibrant, dynamic creations influenced by her family's favorite recipes, her extensive travels and the creativity that takes shape with an assist from fresh wild-caught seafood, corn-fed Midwestern beef, Jidori free-range all-natural locally-raised chicken and Salmon Creek Farms wheat-and-barley-fed pork.
The chef's penchant for using the very best ingredients to create the very best dining experience became clear all over again during my recent seasonal tasting of her warm-weather menu additions. Here's what you simply must try the next time you crave an escape to the beauty and flavor of Mexico.
What to Order Now
Thick cuts of exquisitely-textured raw yellowtail topped with house-made crisp beet chips and diced jalapeno, heirloom tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, radishes, red onion and slivers of kumquats make this light and bright dish one to order again and again. The sustainably-sourced fish shines with a hint of citrus that makes every bite blossom as the layers of flavors are discovered.
Sabor is simply the best when it comes to luxuriously-rich meats that are lovingly, slowly prepared for maximum flavor and texture. The shredded beef in this dish is no different, slow cooked for over five hours in a chile wine sauce after a 24-hour marinade. This sharable plate features a tender masa flatbread smothered with black beans, flavorful beef, grilled onion, baby kale, avocado, queso fresco and bursts of divine heirloom tomatoes.
Callo de Hacha
Sabor's on-trend dish featuring popular-for-a-reason zucchini "noodles" (Really, spiralized zucchini.) is a knock out of the park with delicately-flavored, perfectly-prepared seared sea scallops swimming in a savory corn crema. The pairing is both light and satisfying.
Braised pork, quajillo chile, bean puree, Spanish rice, Mexican onions and grilled pineapple come together for a melt-in-your-mouth Baja California wine-country-inspired meal that simply must be experienced. Don't miss this dish, which is made using timeless techniques with a modern twist.
Sabor Cocina Mexicana is located in the Bridgeport Marketplace in Valencia. 259-9002