The brainchild of Mexican born Baton Rouge entrepreneur Carlos Salazar, Blue Corn Tequila and Tacos in Ichiban Square is the culmination of Salazar’s longtime dream to open a restaurant. Locally, he saw the opportunity to serve traditional Mexican food, rather than the Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex cuisine that dominates U.S. menus. “We wanted to do something authentic,” Salazar says. “We’re serving the same dishes I ate and learned to cook growing up.”
The lunch menu features dishes like pork in verde pipian—pork shoulder slow cooked in homemade green tomatillo molé with serrano peppers and pumpkin seeds. Fans of molé will also have fun with a traditional, 20-ingredient molé served with enchiladas and carne asada. Salazar’s wife and business partner, Suly, says vegetables play a big role on the menu, including side dishes like pan-fried zucchini, sautéed Mexican cactus and rajas con queso y elote—chopped poblano pepper sautéed with fresh corn, onion, garlic and butter and topped with Mexican crema and queso fresco. There’s also tableside guacamole, a rotating ceviche of the day, a couple different versions of chilaquiles and homemade tamales.
The vibe is as distinct as the menu. Salazar, who also has a construction business, fabricated the large polished concrete bar and ornamental steel shelves that stretch from bar to ceiling. They hold dozens of hand painted white and azure bottles of the boutique Mexican tequila, Clase Azul, one of several varieties of tequila on the bar menu. The sleek, industrial look throughout the bar and dining room is punctuated with splashes of colors from two large murals, one depicting the Day of the Dead and the other, a large bull. The restaurant also includes a large patio outside for dining or lounging.
In August, Salazar committed to opening a second location at Electric Depot next year.