When local institution Betelnut closed, Cow Hollow was collectively bummed. Where would they go for fun group dinners, or to eat the P.F. Chang’s menu without having to admit they went to P.F. Chang’s? Luckily, Flores opened up in Betelnut’s place, keeping the slightly rowdy vibe, but bringing with it much tastier food. In a neighborhood plagued with weird gift shops and mostly boring food, this Mexican spot is bringing something new and refreshing.
Just like in the Betelnut days, the space is massive and a prime spot for a spontaneous group dinner where you might accidentally invite the person you just matched with on Tinder and they might actually show up. You should probably leave the parents at home (it can get pretty loud), but a date night here wouldn’t be out of the question. The menu is a mix of safe words like “fish tacos” and more traditional options like sopes and carnitas, and while some dishes (especially the small plates) are outstanding, others are kind of forgettable. There’s a trick to getting Flores right, and we’re here to tell you what it is.
Start with a cocktail. They’re universally delicious, but the Curandera has both tequila and mezcal so you’ll probably order that. Next, load up on the guacamole, crab tostadas, and save room for the carnitas and chili colorado. Also, be prepared to wait a bit for your table, since Flores doesn’t do reservations and on weekend nights is so busy you’d think they were giving away Soulcycle classes.
Other downsides to the place: the service can be a hit or miss - drink refills don’t always show up and plates can take a long time (or an incredibly short time) to appear. The portions are either tiny or massive, and the prices skew pretty high.
But overall, Flores has filled the Betelnut-shaped hole in Cow Hollow - and then some. The revamped space is fun and the drinks are killer. Should you head across town to check it out? Probably not. But when you use Flores right, it’s an excellent place to be. And while you won’t be able to get your szechuan green bean fix anymore, you can still shop at the Inuit art store around the corner if you’re feeling like the neighborhood is changing too fast for you.
You’re going out for Mexican food, so you’re probably ordering this either way - so this is us reassuring you that you’re making the right choice.
This is a pumpkin seed, spicy pesto dip served with lettuce leaves rather than chips so you don’t fill up. Our inner Marina Girl respects this choice. This is unique and tasty, our only complaint is that it’s a pretty small portion.
A phenomenal plate. Hearty amounts of crab and avocado piled on crispy tostadas. Rich and wonderful and definitely a must-order.
Very bland. The fish is unidentifiable, which is always a bit concerning. Pass on this.
This is cornbread with some sauce and if you are expecting a tamale to hit your table, you will be disappointed. We’d advise against ordering this.
These are some A+ carnitas. Not dry at all, perfectly cooked and amazing with the beans and salsas. One of the best things on the menu and perfect to share.
Hot damn. We ordered this once on a whim without totally understanding what it was. Thank god we did. The short ribs are saucy and wonderful, the rice is basmati-esque and gives it a bit of an Indian feel and the whole thing is great. Probably our favorite thing on the menu.
A big entree of grilled pork served with tortillas, beans, and salsas so you can make your own tacos. Which sounds great, but the pork itself is somewhere between 50%-60% fat. The full meat pieces are tasty and the tortillas are excellent, but this just isn’t our thing.
On one visit these were duck, and sometimes they’re chicken. They’re ok, but we’d rather fill up on the other stuff on the menu as the meat can be a bit dry.