Los Tules

I’ve driven by Los Tules at 1656 Broadway in Kansas City, MO. I’ve seen it when I go to Kauffman Center. I’ve often wondered if it was any good, but for some reason I’ve never gone. While you probably know Kansas City for it’s BBQ, we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great Mexican (and Tex-Mex) all across the city.
And let me say that I’m embarrassed that I didn’t try Los Tules sooner.
A friend took me there last week saying that a friend had challenged him to go and it was now in his top Mexican restaurants in KC. I don’t know if it’s in my top three yet, but I can tell you there’s not a day that’s gone by where I haven’t wanted to go back and dive into birria, camarones a la diabla or just a pile of chips and salsa.
When you go to Los Tules, don’t let the outside or the inside fool you. You’re not going to Los Tules because it’s super pretty or decked in out in the culture of its cuisine. It’s kind of plain, but it’s also comfortable. There’s no need for pretense or image, there’s just very nice wait staff who show you to your table and start stuffing you full of delicious Mexican cuisine.
We started with the obligatory chips and salsa. They had both mild and spicy salsa, the latter of which I augmented with some hot sauce. We then ordered paired Mexican tacos for an appetizer: one quesabirra and the other asada. Both were amazing. The asada was cooked perfectly, well spiced, and everything you want from asada. Unfortunately, it’s star was completely eclipsed by the quesabirra which was served with the obligatory consome. The quesabirria was rich, early, and had that little hint of cinnamon that you get with the finest birria. I devoured my taco and then dipped anything I could find into the left over broth. I give the birria a twenty on a scale of one to five!
For our entrees, I got camarones a la diabla (pictured above) which was shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce. I am a huge fan of camarones a la diabla and Los Tules actually has my second favorite version of the dish. The shrimp was plump and juicy, the tomato sauce well-seasoned and filled with the garlic and pepper flavor I have come to love. My only complaint was, like the hot sauce, I wanted more heat. Fortunately, I could add a little Cholula (and some of that consome broth) and I was loving life.
My buddy got shrimp fajitas. When the skillet came out, it was overflowing with onions, peppers and shrimp the size of my fist. Even better, the fajitas smelled like the good fajitas do: that blend of sizzling onions, spices, and a hint of shrimp. It was enough to almost make me regret ordering the camarones a la diabla. Almost, but not quite!
Overall, everything we ate was full of flavor, perfectly spiced and just really pleasant to eat. There was literally no weakness in anything we ordered and the birria and camarones were both fantastic. I’m definitely heading back soon. In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to go. Try the birria and the chips and salsa then order anything else. I am sure you will enjoy!

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