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San Miguel Luna de Queso by Day, Celia Cenaduría Lights up the Night

By Amy G. Rothlin

The warm spring air buzzed with energy as Friday night unfolded, and popular ‘Centro’ hubs were rapidly filling up, Celia Cenaduria, offered a comforting escape. Owned by the same mastermind behind Luna de Queso and led by Chef Johnatan Cuevas, Celia strikes a perfect balance between chic and cozy. The atmosphere reflects the duality - stylish yet inviting, ideal for a casual evening or a special occasion.

Chef Cuevas prioritizes fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors. This commitment to quality shines through in his menu, a fusion of Asian and Mexican flavors. Imagine a marriage between the vibrant spice profiles of Southeast Asia and the rich soul of Mexican urban cuisine - that's the culinary adventure awaiting you at Celia Cenaduria, brace yourself for a symphony of textures and tastes. The complimentary mini flautas (fried tacos), filled with migajas (crumbled fried pork skin) and bayo beans, kick off the appetizer course. A burst of juicy goodness arrives next with a fresh local tomato mix salad, complemented by creamy jocoque with fresh fennel, and a smoky hint of roasted garlic macha sauce. Next, we delve into the mushroom and hoja santa dumplings, pan-fried with a delightful union of garlic and sesame, bursting with a savory bean broth.

Our main course exploration continued with the ajillo shrimp bao, this fluffy steamed achiote bun cradled a flavorful basil and ginger aguachile sauce, house pickles, and a cilantro salad – another delightful taste of Chef Cuevas' fusion magic. For a more traditional touch, we savored the cachete tacos (braised beef cheek) and an order of tlacoyos (thick corn tortillas). These were topped with crispy pink oyster mushrooms and two salsas: green with pumpkin seeds and basil, and a guajillo chili red sauce with hints of 5 Chinese spices. To complement these dishes, we opted for a bottle of Guanamé, a regional merlot from San Felipe, Guanajuato. Our attentive waiter, Hur, expertly chilled it to the perfect temperature, enhancing the wine's smooth, earthy character.

Hur deserves special recognition. His attentiveness went above and beyond anticipating our needs, providing knowledgeable recommendations, and ensuring a seamless flow throughout the evening. When we mentioned it was my friend's 39th birthday, the staff surprised her with a heavenly slice of tres leches cake topped with candy popcorn, adding a playful touch to an unforgettable evening. From appetizers to desserts, Chef Johnatan and his team exceeded all expectations. Overall, dining at Celia Cenaduria was a delight from start to finish. Calling all our female friends! They host Ladies' Night every Wednesday, featuring a DJ and signature gin cocktails.

The restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 6:30 to 10:30 PM. But wait, there is more!  For those who can't get enough of Luna de Queso's essence, they recently opened a new space called AMAL, located in the store/deli area. AMAL offers tastings, private dinners, workshops, talks, pop-ups, and more magic! All in the same spot: Josefina Orozco 10!

If you wish to invite the San Miguel Taste Insiders team to visit your place, please contact Amy Rothlin: and follow on Instagram @sanmigueltaste

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