Omnivore - Lucero Obregon writes about the new Zocalo

New menu blends Sandoval’s faves with Lucero’s


  • Lucero Obregon

As you probably know, Zocalo closed a few days earlier this month and reopened May 5 in a rejuvenated state. Lucero Obregon writes to say she has a famous partner in the new venture - Richard Sandoval. She has been at Sandoval’s Pompano in New York City for the last four years. Highlights from her email:

We’ve done some renovations...We cleaned out the space, painted it and changed the furniture inside and on the patio. I like the contrast of the new furniture (rustic Hacienda style) with the modern china.

The menu is a collaboration of Chef Richard’s favorite dishes from a couple of the restaurants he owns - one in Colorado and the other in Washington, DC - and my favorite dishes from Zocalo, like the mole, the pibil, and the chile relleno.

He left me as the executive chef, so I’ve been traveling back and forth! But we are leaving a kitchen manager/sous chef from one of his restaurants from the west coast.

We will start a “bottomless brunch” on Sundays. We have done that in some of the restaurants here in NY and DC and it has worked amazingly, so hopefully it will work at Zocalo - bottomless brunch and a little extra of bottomless drinks. We will re-start our taco nights: bottomless guacamole and sangria.

It feels like a new beginning, with very good support from Chef Richard and his team.

Lucero was in town last week to celebrate the life of her father who died a few weeks back. I met him soon after Zocalo opened and he radiated pride in his daughter. He backed Lucero and her two brothers in opening the restaurant. She shares a coincidence about him:

The reason he came to the US in the first place (Washington, DC) was to work with NAFTA. He represented the avocado growers in Mexico, and his mission was to bring Mexican avocados to the US. (For many years, Mexican avocados couldn’t be transported here.) So he opened the lines for the avocado finally in 1998....To celebrate, there was a dinner with plenty of guacamole and a menu based on avocados. It was at MAYA with Chef Richard Sandoval! Very strange, isn’t it? Who would have thought that I would later on work for RS and then have him as a partner in Zocalo!