West of Pecos
(550 Valencia) opened May 15 in the completely transformed Bombay Bazar space. The former Indian ice cream parlor and market would have never conceived of a Texas longhorn skull as the centerpiece, but it's a perfect touch for this new Old West restaurant from Dylan MacNiven, who also pilots the two locations of Woodhouse Fish Co. with his brothers.
The menu features large plates ($15-22) meant to be shared family style, with twists on classic Southwestern comfort fare like ribs, carnitas, steak, and albondigas. The fish fajitas ($22), for example, come to the table with a whole fish -- in the case of the current offering of dorado, baring menacing teeth and all.
It wouldn't be a Southwest spot without liberal use of green chile, so here it pops up in skillets of macaroni and cheese ($7) and a huge cheeseburger that comes cleverly cloaked in a flour tortilla, a combination that works with surprising ease. With a focus on mezcal and whiskey, drinks aren't dainty here -- in fact, they're likely to knock you on your keester as swiftly as the food will.
The dining room, divided in two big sections, seats about 100, which made a walk in a breeze even on opening night. For now, the front door is still unfinished and looks like a construction site, but don't let that decoy deter from checking out a promising new place.