Támal - Coastal inspired Mexican Food in Fairfax

Támal has a large selection of tequila and Mezcal and a specialty cocktail menu.

Támal has a large selection of tequila and Mezcal and a specialty cocktail menu.

Támal is located in downtown Fairfax across from the parking lot by the theater at 23 Broadway Blvd. Támal’s tapas-style menu include foods inspired by “Regional Mexican cuisine and Mexican craft cocktails. Chef Steve Jaramillo focuses on traditional cooking techniques and indigenous ingredients of Regional Mexican cuisine creating a menu representing Mexico's coastal regions. The full bar includes an extensive list of artisan Tequilas and Mezcals, and craft beer on tap.  Enjoy the back patio with fire pit.”

Támal has a warm contemporary vibe with a mixture of wood, metal and Mexican artworks. They are open for dinner at 5pm Wednesday thru Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome or call for reservations.

The Town of Fairfax is located in central Marin County about half way between San Rafael and Point Reyes Station.

Riley IPA from Adobe Creek Brewing

Riley IPA from Adobe Creek Brewing

I met my friend Joannie at Támal in Fairfax on a smokey Friday night. The wind was blowing in smoke from the Camp Fire in Chico blanketing the entire Bay Area. The patio was closed because of the poor air quality, so we sat at the bar. Joannie ordered an El Chapo Paloma off the specialty cocktail menu it is made with Lillet blanc, grapefruit shrub and lime soda. It was as refreshing as it sounds. This began a conversation about El Chapo, the infamous drug lord who escaped from a maximum-security prison, was on the most wanted list and currently on trial for 17 count indictment that covers nearly three decades of alleged criminal activities…he pleaded not guilty.

I had a pint of the Riley IPA brewed by Adobe Creek Brewing which is owned by Jonathan MacDonald the brother-in-law of Tamal owner Mike MacDonald. Adobe Creek Brewing is a one-man brewery making less than 100 barrels of ales and lagers a year base in Marin County.

The Riley IPA is a West Coast style IPA has the light malt and hoppy bitterness I expect from an IPA with a citrus finish of grapefruit and hint of pineapple. It’s an unfiltered brew that has everything I want in an IPA.

The Chile Relleno is rich in flavor and beautifully plated in Mexican pottery.

The Chile Relleno is rich in flavor and beautifully plated in Mexican pottery.

We ordered several Antojitos (translates to tapas or snacks). The Chile Relleno was served bubbling hot from the kitchen in a Mexican pottery dish. It is made with a roasted Poblano chile, winter squash, mushrooms, goat cheese in a creamy verde sauce. Joannie doesn’t like goat cheese that worked out for me because, I like do. I enjoyed the different textures achieved with the mix of mushrooms and squash. It is a rich smokey dish of cream goodness.

Ceviche with warm and salty house made chips

Ceviche with warm and salty house made chips

Támal’s ceviche is made with sea bass, and I tasted habanero, lime, cilantro and olives. The ceviche is served with warm and salty house made tortilla chips. I don’t get to eat much ceviche in Mount Shasta so this was a real treat for me. I remember the first time ate cheviche was in San Diego and a chef friend of mine had just returned from a trip to Peru and threw a return party serving this lime cooked dish. I remember it being a bowl of fish and lime deliciousness. Támal’s cheviche has more complex ingredients and it was definitely a treat!

Season Fall salad made with baby arugula - beautifully presented.

Season Fall salad made with baby arugula - beautifully presented.

The Fall Salad included baby arugula and butter lettuce with thinly sliced crispy pears, dried persimmons, walnuts and shavings of Mexican cheese with Támal’s house made walnut oil and lime juice dressing. Every bite was the taste of Autumn in my mouth!

Joannie and I sat at the bar. Tyler was our bartender and he was sweet and efficient answering all my questions about the food. He likes his job and it shows. It was nice to catch up with Joannie and to eat the food at Támal. I recommended it to my Marin friends and Mount Shasta friends who travel that way.