Corazón is trying this again. Portland Monthly is the first to learn that after less-than-enthusiastic early reports emanating from chef Chris Israel's hotly anticipated West End Mexican spot, Israel and partner Kurt Huffman (of ChefStable) are overhauling the menu to make the concept more casual. As Huffman tells PoMo, "It was way more formal and rigid than we had planned. People got angry just seeing the menu prices, and we had to get rid of them."
The new menu sees an expansion of the formerly bar-only "cantina" concept, with focus on $3 Baja-style tacos that will now be available throughout the entire dining room. And after a look at the new bill of fare, the dining room dinner menu appears to be a more streamlined affair.
The updated cantina menu (downloadable in .pdf form here) looks largely the same, with seven varieties of tacos (notably missing from the cocktail menu, however, is the $14 house margarita) — that yes, will be available as part of larger plates in the dining room, as well. The new dinner menu, however, offers significantly fewer seafood and starter options than Israel's original, ambitious take. On the seafood side, only the $3 oyster shooters, ceviche, seafood cocktail, and aguachile dishes remain; gone are an originally highly publicized warm octopus dish and oysters available on the half-shell. Like the original dinner menu, about a half-dozen entrees have made the cut — including enchiladas, grilled prawn skewers, and grilled pescado wrapped in banana leaves — though a new "Specialty Meats" section sees the omission of gussied-up dishes like camarones served in-shell, and a chorizo-stuffed quail.