Nowadays, it almost feels like most Mexican restaurants we've been to taste the same, lacking presentation and not knowing how to blend flavors to bring out the complexity in that authentic Latino dish. T'Kila Latin Kitchen was an exception. This locally owned restaurant, tucked in the Stone Ridge community in Aldie, VA, surprised us with its casual atmosphere, great food and very friendly staff.
The restaurant serves a culinary fusion of Mexican and Latin cuisine. All their dishes are freshly prepared from scratch, using natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. The chips and salsa are homemade, and throughout our meal it was apparent that everything was made fresh in-house, combining their own mixture of Latino flavors. The salsa had just the right mix of savory and spicy with a smooth and slightly chunky consistency.
As an appetizer, we ordered their beautifully presented and refreshingly tasting Queso Fundido with Chorizo. The dish is served in an cast iron skillet with fresh home-made flour tortillas for dipping, which gave it that nice crispy texture on the bottom, added complexity to the flavor and was very original. They also offer fabulous fresh table-side guacamole that can be customized to your palate. For dinner, we ordered the Shrimp & Steak Fajitas and their Mar y Tierra. The surf and turf came with a corn husk filled with an exquisite sweet corn mush and a bowl of black beans cooked in an adobo sauce. The sauce was excellent with hints of chile and chocolate. The Fajitas were also delicious and full of flavor, were served in a cast iron skillet and were accompanied by black beans and rice. The tender steak and shrimp were cooked and seasoned perfectly. To go with our meal, we ordered a margarita on the rocks, which was also excellent and well balanced between the citrus and tequila flavors. The restaurant has a large alcoholic drink selection, from Sangria to Mojitos and Margaritas, which we are looking forward to trying out on future visits.
Don't let the lack of authentic Latin decor scare you away. This restaurant truly prefers to focus on providing its customers with excellent, beautifully presented food rather than building decorations. The inside of the restaurant, while still having remnants of the old Japanese steakhouse, is quite nice with a huge bar area and a clean, very open floor. It was very refreshing to find such an authentic, yet original place where the food comes first!