The embryonic bones of Kol were trained in an unassuming semi-detached house on a residential street in Acton, west London, where Lastra set up their test kitchen. Many journalists who arrived there often found themselves shyly chatting amongst themselves and checking map apps on the drive outside, looking confused, until Lastra invited them to a feast. throbbing and bursting with mezcal.
The restaurant was ready to operate and the site secure, but the pandemic hit and the restaurant suffered a start-up shutdown period similar to that of a learner driver struggling with a slipping clutch pedal.
“Opening a restaurant from scratch can always be a struggle, long nights and lots of hope made this dream come true, especially as we opened a restaurant during the worst time in history,” says Lastra. “It means the team is very close, they are not only hardworking and amazing in their work, but they make my dream come true and protect the quality while putting their own soul into the project.”
Returning to the restaurant’s “Mexican soul”, Lastra says he is most inspired by the indigenous people of his native country who “keep the traditions alive”, while working with the British seasons is “a great opportunity to discover what hyper-seasonal Mexican food might look like to love.” Despite her nomadic lifestyle, Lastra’s connection to Mexico remains strong.
“The dishes represent our approach to seasonality and the concept of Kol,” he says of the recipes embedded in this article, taken from the restaurant’s late-winter menu. “The UK has distinct seasonal changes while Mexico is fairly consistent throughout the year in terms of ingredients accessible. Although we use winter ingredients, we represent Mexico by creating colorful and fresh dishes. »
You will also find, below, two cocktail recipes from the Kol Mezcaleriaa dedicated agave sanctuary in the basement below the restaurant, where cocktails are infused with “wild British plants”.