Aguachile is a Sinaloan ceviche dish made with fresh shrimp mildly cured in lime juice and a large amount of spice.
Known generally as "corn smut," huitlacoche is about as authentic as it gets. This corn-growing fungus is used to produce everything from tamales and stews to quesadillas and sauces.
Back to the basics, one of the most important components of a traditional Mexican dinner is masa, the substance used to make tortillas and other maize miracles. And chefs should be concerned about it.
Irabien also recommends getting the humble bean from the menu. But, apart from refried preconceptions, there's a lot more to the legume than meets the Tex-Mex eye.
An real taco from a Doritos taco is all about adventurous appetite. Rich Garcia, senior chef at Florida's Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar, prefers tacos at good Mexican restaurants.
Cliff Benavides agrees. According to Austin's Driskill sous chef, salsa indicates genuineness. I think of quality, fresh ingredients and time and effort when I think of traditional Mexican cuisine.
It doesn't get much more authentic than mole, a subtle sauce with almost unlimited variations throughout Mexico—and true Mexican restaurants—in terms of classic, regional, and extensive menu items.
Start with simple dishes to determine authenticity. California Rolls reveal a sushi restaurant's style. It's obvious. Ordering anything simple shows a kitchen's quality.
Guacamole, another Mexican staple, may make or ruin a restaurant's credibility. Lennox, who shares the minimalist approach, must order it as a side dish.
A Mexican meal isn't complete without a margarita. Margaritas made with syrups and chemicals are not the same as true margaritas.