iTzcali Tapas & Tequila: Is the second time the charm?

iTzcali Tapas & Tequila

It was time to revisit iTzcali Tapas and Tequila. I originally went during their opening week back in November 2023 and did not have a good experience. The soft opening was rough, and it was confirmed by multiple posts on the restaurant’s social media page apologizing for miscues during the first couple months they were open.

I should add that the owner reached out to me after my original first look. He was receptive to the blog, knew it was rough, and invited me back to make things right. One thing I mentioned was I wasn’t looking for any comped meal, refund, discount, special treatment, or anything. I promised to return, but on my terms. For me, I wanted to come back at a later date when they didn’t expect it. That’s the only fair way to see what improvements were made with no bias.

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2819 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67214
316-358-9955

Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 10pm

Website | Facebook
Cash/Card Accepted
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That time came, and it was unexpected to me as well. My brothers, cousins, and father wanted to have dinner, and my father chose iTzcali Tapas and Tequila. They handled the reservations and when I arrived, the back room was finally open to provide more seating. We were seated in the corner of a restaurant, so the lighting wasn’t the best for pictures, so I apologize for that. (I’m not a pro and don’t carry a fancy lighted device to help with that.)

We all started with a few drinks, like the old-fashioned and a michelada. They were nice little starters. On my first visit, it took over an hour for our drinks to arrive. I’m pleased to report, it was maybe 5 minutes. So, a solid start for the revisited look at iTzcali Tapas and Tequila.

For our starters, we had the mussels. When I say “we” I really meant “I” because most of my family preferred something else. That meant more for me. The mussels were swimming in a tequila, garlic herb broth of some sort. It was extremely tasty, and I found myself dipping whatever I could get my hands on; solid mussels as well.

This was another improvement from my first visit. The appetizer came out at the right time and was delicious.

For dinner, we ordered a mix of different tapas and main entrées. We had the chicken pozole verde, iTzcali picanha, Mexican Fattoush, ceviche, street tacos, iTzcali nachos, and wood fired kabobs (picanha).

There were a couple of minor mishaps in the kitchen, but our server did a great job of communicating all of that with us. It was primarily centered around one dish, showing up long before the rest of the entrées. All really minor stuff, but the staff was apologetic and offered us an appetizer while we waited. It was a nice gesture, but we declined.

Here are the food pics:

I didn’t get a taste of everything, but I’ll say that most of what I had at iTzcali Tapas and Tequila was far superior on this visit than my first. The food wasn’t dry, cold, bland or any of that.

The iTzcali picanha and wood fired kabobs were tender and not overcooked. They didn’t ask us how we wanted it cooked, but I’d say it was prepared more on the medium-rare side. My father really loved his tacos and nachos. He mentioned the nachos so much at one point I almost had to but in and say, “You and the nachos need to get a room.”

The chicken pozole verde was probably my only point of contention. It could have used something to kick up the spice or flavor a bit, and there just wasn’t much chicken in the bowl.

Other than that, though, everybody was more than pleased with their meal, with my family mentioning they’d love to return some time.

When we received our ticket, we noticed they took 25% off our bill for the minor kitchen issues, which was nice because we didn’t voice any complaint at any time or ask for anything. Our service over dinner was attentive, drinks were refilled, all the good stuff.

For my second time to iTzcali Tapas and Tequila, it really was a vast improvement since my original outing. Knowing my father is a big fan, that means I may have to return and see if it’s consistent, especially during the busy dinner rush. We arrived earlier in the evening and as we were getting to leave, you could tell the place was getting busier by the second.

Nice little redemption moment for iTzcali.

Here’s the menu:

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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