Hueso is Spanish for “bone.” It’s also the name of the best restaurant in Guadalajara. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the experience, as the restaurant’s website has nothing more than an address, phone number, email, and slideshow of pictures. But, according to the 4.5 star Yelp Review, I knew it must be good.
I called ahead and booked a reservation for 9:00 PM. Hueso is only open 8:00 PM – midnight seven days a week. If a restaurant can survive on four hours of business each day, you know it must be good. I did a little more research by sifting through the scarce amount of articles on the internet and learned Hueso seats guests at a communal table, has walls adorned in bones, and is the product of culinary genius Alfonso Cadena.
We took an Uber to the restaurant and were a little nervous at first. The Uber dropped us on the side of the street in front of what looked like a gated house. We realized it was Hueso. Marked with no wording and only a single bone hanging from the doorway, it already set the mood as one of mystery, darkness, and intrigue.
As we entered Hueso, we were met with a sensory juxtaposition of morbid bone decor, the low hum of conversation, and a pleasant aroma. After walking up to the hostess, our large group was escorted upstairs to one of two private dining rooms with a shared balcony.
First up was drinks. I ordered a Moscow Mule, and everyone in our party ordered a variety of cocktails. The Mule came out tasting perfect with a purple flower as decoration. We opted for four appetizers, four main dishes, and three desserts which ended up being way more than enough for eight people.
Our salads came out looking and tasting phenomenal. My favorite salad had guava ice cream mixed in. The salads were an indescribable mix of tastes and textures, but everything complemented each other very well.
Next came the meats. We ordered two steak dishes, a pork dish, and lamb. Again, the explosion of flavors was beyond words. The meat was tender and I can easily say it was better than any meal I’ve had at any five star restaurant in The States.
Lastly, we ordered dessert. We were already more than full by this point, but you can’t come to Hueso and not try the dessert. We ordered one of each which included a cheesecake, oreo type dessert and creme brûlée. All three were phenomenal and I couldn’t choose just one favorite.
The food ignited every tastebud and the ambiance was one of a kind. But, what really made Hueso shine was the service. I had been looking forward to eating at Hueso for months. Unfortunately, mosquitos are abundant in Guadalajara and I ended up getting bit about 20-30 times. Pro Tip: Benadryl and alcohol do NOT mix well.
Needless to say I ended up feeling sick right at the start of dinner. Fortunately we had the semi-private balcony where I was able to get some fresh air. The servers not only spoke perfect English and displayed each course as if we were at a three star Michelin restaurant, but they also brought me a pitcher of ice water and towel to put on the back of my neck. They were constantly checking in on me and bringing me bread because it was the only thing I could stomach my first 30 minutes there. Fortunately, my body knows I couldn’t possibly miss out on good food and I ended up feeling better in the middle of our meal.
Hueso isn’t a restaurant, it’s a work of art. My highest compliments to Alfonso Cadena for his creativity not just as a Chef, but as an artist. Had anyone come to me with an idea to serve food to people surrounded by bones my first thought would have been, “Disgusting! That will never work.” But, somehow through the mix of dim lights, unique food complements, and exceptional service, Cadena created the restaurant of my dreams. Laid back yet posh, unique yet comforting, dark yet light, Hueso ranks as my favorite restaurant to date. Who’s ready to make a trip to Guadalajara? I know I am!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf