big mambo taxi
Dallas Tex-Mex staple reveals opening date for largest locale to date in River Oaks
The time has come for Houstonians to catch a Mambo Taxi. Mi Cocina will open its doors next Wednesday, November 29.
Earlier this year, the Dallas-based Tex-Mex restaurant claimed the former Seasons 52 space near River Oaks District (4410 Westheimer Rd.) for its return to the Houston market. The restaurant had two previous Houston-area outposts, including a location in The Woodlands that closed in 2017.
Edgar Guevara, president and CEO of Mi Cocina parent company M Crowd Restaurant Group, told CultureMap in February that the company plans to become a fixture in Houston. Its location near River Oaks District is similar to its most successful Dallas outposts.
“I don’t know what happened with the past openings we had in Houston. I think when you’re going into a market you want to pick someplace that’s similar to where you operate,” Guevara said at the time. “I happen to like the location we’re in. That’s why we landed there. It was data driven and then there were similarities to what we do in Dallas.”
A Dallas staple for more than 30 years, Mi Cocina is known for its upscale Tex-Mex fare and the Mambo Taxi, a frozen margarita with a swirl of sangria. Signature items include the brisket tacos, Mama’s tacos, and the Rico salad that’s topped with sliced chicken fajitas. Overall, the restaurant operates 23 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Oklahoma, which makes Houston the 24th.
Mi Cocina worked with design firm Droese Raney on an interior that’s inspired by contemporary Mexican design. The result is Mi Cocina’s largest location to date with a 10,000-square-foot interior that includes a private dining room and an adults-only bar area. Details include artwork by Luis Sotil and custom furniture created by Peter Glassford.
With final details still being completed, the restaurant provided this updated rendering to preview the interior.
A rendering previews the new Mi Cocina.Courtesy of Mi Cocina
“We strive to treat every Mi Cocina location with a unique touch while maintaining consistency in the brand’s identity across spaces,” Droese Raney vice president Christine Howitt said in a statement. “Every facet of the restaurant, from the parota wood tables sourced from Guadalajara to the incorporation of steel edge band wrappings, draws inspiration from modern Mexican design, encapsulating the essence of Mi Cocina’s culture.”
Open for lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant expects to employ more than 100 people.
“We are thrilled to soon open our doors here in Houston,” Guevara added in a statement. “Mi Cocina is, above all, a family-oriented establishment. This new location will provide us with another fantastic opportunity to cater to a beloved neighborhood, while extending our commitment to a fresh set of employees.”Mi Cocina joins an area around River Oaks and Upper Kirby with lots of choices for Tex-Mex. Nearby options include Escalante’s in Highland Village, Chuy’s on Westheimer near Kirby, Valencia’s Tex-Mex Garage in Greenway Plaza, and three popular restaurants near the intersection of Kirby and Richmond — Picos, Little Pappasito’s, and El Tiempo Cantina. Cyclone Anaya’s will open its seventh Houston-area location just down the street from Mi Cocina in the former Frank’s Americana Revival space at 3736 Westheimer.