Mai-O-Mai food truck fuses Mexican, Asian flavors with San Antonio soul

The tale of chef Ivan Torres has been advised in some of San Antonio’s most effective kitchens. Just 26, the owner of the Mexican-Asian fusion foods trailer Mai-O-Mai now has worked the stoves with cooks Geronimo Lopez at Botika, Luca Della Casa at Nonna Osteria and Steve McHugh at Landrace.

But like so quite a few upwardly cellular chefs, Torres needed some thing to simply call his possess. Drawn to Asian cooking by the Peruvian-Chinese-Japanese menagerie at Botika and affected by the foods he grew up feeding on as a San Antonio native, he lit the fires on an plan to fuse Mexican and Asian types.

That thought took real-environment shape Aug. 15 when Torres opened Mai-O-Mai exterior Bruno’s Dive Bar in Southtown. Since then, he’s parked the late-night trailer at bars close to city, including Tony’s Siesta, Amor Eterno and Espuelas Bar at the Bridge, with hopes of acquiring a frequent place.

In the meantime, Torres mentioned he’s having fun with the journey, a experience that contains warming individuals up to the concept of Mexican-Asian foods.

Locale: Places change. Verify the Instagram web page @maifoodtruck for updates.

Hrs: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday-Sunday

Takeout/delivery: Onsite dining and takeout obtainable. No supply.


“People are frightened at first,” he claimed. “They’re wondering about Mexican avenue food items, and it is all tacos, tacos, tacos. I have to explain it in various phrases to make it do the job.”

The menu does some of the perform, with traces like this to explain pork al pastor steamed buns: “Think tacos, pero in a bao.” That works for me.

Finest dish: If pork al pastor does not taste ideal, it doesn’t subject how it’s packaged. Torres produced absolutely sure it was appropriate with a spicy, sweet and tangy marinade of achiote, pineapple juice, citrus and vinegar turbocharged with guajillo chiles, chile pasilla and chile de árbol. Concluded on the flat-best grill, the pork was piled onto a pair of tender steamed buns with new pineapple and pickled onions for a avenue food stuff encounter that connects two culinary worlds ($9).

Other dishes: Due to the fact Mai-O-Mai hangs out at bars, the menu favors food items you can eat with your fingers. That contains a righteous pork carnitas sandwich that put together shoulder, tummy and rib meat on a toasted bolillo roll that took on a Vietnamese banh mi character with herbs, carrots and spicy sauce ($14).

The trailer also turned out respectable spicy-sweet lemongrass fried hen wings ($11), no smaller feat for the confines of a trailer, where fryer place is at a top quality. Torres maximized the fryer’s capacity with Catfish y Chips ($13), nuggets of catfish soaked in sambal buttermilk, dredged in cornmeal and fried to a shaggy crunch, served with curly fries, all of it sauced with spicy, complex miso remoulade.

A fork arrived into play for bulgogi fries ($14), a stoner’s delight of curly fries, grilled sweet-very hot beef, aromatic kimchi, clean herbs and a fried egg, all intended to be swirled collectively. And although I did not get how a dish of wide noodles with abundant tomato curry, herbs and veggies was intended to replicate the vermicelli-twirl of fideo for Fideo Noodz ($10 in addition $5 for shrimp), I savored the result.

[email protected] | Twitter: @fedmanwalking | Instagram: @fedmanwalking

Barbara J. Miriam

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