Lunch with the Michelin Guide – Colibri Mexican Bistro

Colibri Mexican Bistro is a wonderful restaurant located in the Theater District of San Francisco. Like the name says, the food is Mexican. Authentic Mexican.

Colibri Mexican Bistro

The colors inside are warm and inviting.

The interior of Colibri Mexican Bistro

We were seated near the front window decorated with various glass bottles.

The Window

After being seated, a napkin containing piping hot, fresh tortillas was brought to the table, along with 3 salsas.

Fresh tortillas with 3 salsas

The three salsas were a mango salsa, red salsa, and a tomatillo salsa.


The mango salsa was the favorite of Irise and Sandra. It was sweet and mild, with just a hint of chile. You could easily compare its flavor with the sweetness of a jam or preserve. The red salsa was smoky, with bits of tomato, onion, and spices. It was spicy, and a little too hot for Irise. The last was a tomatillo salsa and my favorite. It was hot, but tasted like the homemade tomatillo salsa my father makes. Tomatillo, onion, garlic, peppers and chilies made a fresh, piquant combination. On a hot tortilla, it was marvelous!

Tomatillo’s are sometimes called the Mexican tomato. Looking similar to a small green tomato, they are covered with a brown, papery outer leaf, similar to an onion skin. Once the papery leaf is removed the skin is somewhat waxy to the touch. The green tomatillo is cooked and combined with chilies, onions and spices to become tomatillo salsa.

For our appetizer course, we ordered Sopes Surtidos. An assortment of Sopes with beans, chicken, shredded pork and sautéed vegetables served with queso fresco, onion, and sour cream.

Sopes Surtidos

For the main course, we ordered the Tacos Surtidos, Carnitas, and the fish of the day.

Tacos Surtidos

Tacos Surtidos was a sampling of three different tacos – Chicken with chipotle cream; steak with onions and red cabbage; and fish with tomatillo-seranno salsa, onions and cheese. The chicken with the chipotle cream was the hands down favorite. Tender chicken that was deliciously seasoned with onions topped with avocado and chipotle cream all wrapped in a fresh, hot tortilla. All of those flavors combined in your mouth made for a smooth creamy bite. The seasoning was perfect. I could have eaten more of these for sure! The beef taco was also a little disappointing – the beef was more on the tough side and difficult to cut and chew. The fish taco was ok. I must admit I have had better fish tacos – the fish was not crispy and the beans made it seem a little soggy.

Everyone agreed the Carnitas was the best dish out of those that we ordered.

Carnitas with Arroz a la Mexicana

Tender Michoacan-style marinated chunks of pork served with guajillo and arbol chili salsa were plated along with Arroz a la Mexicana -traditional Mexican rice with diced vegetables. The meat was so tender it could be cut with a fork. Placed on a hot tortilla, it was like heaven in your mouth. The salsa was the perfect condiment, adding a touch of heat bringing all the flavors together.

Lastly, was the fish of the day – Fresh Salmon in a crust.

Fish of the Day

Irise, our fish expert thought it tasted, well, fishy. Too fishy. The crust was crispy and delicate and the sauce tasted similar to the mango salsa, but we left a lot of the salmon on the plate. Shocking, because all three of us LOVE salmon. So, we leave you to draw your own conclusion about the fish.

All in all we really enjoyed the hot tortillas and fresh salsas. It’s quite a walk from our office so it’s doubtful we will be back, but Colibri met our expectations – a little bit of Mexico in San Francisco.

Thank you, Colibri!

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