Closed as of summer 2014
When the folks at Kayan Restaurant Group began to plan for their next brand to bring to the Kuwaiti market, it is fair to say they searched far and wide. Having finally decided on an adaptation of a Texas-based chain of taco shops, they began the arduous task of adapting and prepping Rowdy Taco for a local opening. Still riding a wave of from their now ubiquitous Smashburger brand over the last year, they are now moving forward on this new endeavor with the same sense of vigor.
The first thing you will notice when walking into the new Rowdy Taco in Mahboula, is their commitment to a fun atmosphere and overall cheeky-playfulness that will soon no doubt be synonymous with the brand itself. However, a closer look begins to reveal the in-process legacy being built at the company behind the brand: a carefully crafted attention to detail by people who whole-heartedly live by the food they are serving you. Such intertwined destinies are evidenced at the most basic roots of the restaurant: all fresh ingredients, all in-house preparation, all the time! This 24-hour dining experience is serving up taco favorites, quesadillas, salads and more, at your convenience.
For the breakfast tacos, served all day mind you, they have 6 different egg and meat variants that will get you going in the morning. Both the veal jalapeño sausage with egg and cheese, and beef bacon were delicious. Also not to be missed is the in-house prepared fresh beef variant of chorizo, a classic example of a staple for Mexican eateries that is often lost in the international shuffle of brands.
For their classic tacos they offer 13 different versions of which you can mix and match until your hearts content. From ground beef, shredded beef, brisket and lamb (both of which are slow roasted for 18 hours!), chicken, fish, shrimp, and vegetarian options, you will have enough to switch it up with each visit. The Baja shrimp was a delicious take, with its creamy Baja sauce as well as fresh cut cabbage for a texture. The fish taco as well deserves some attention here for the Baja-feel that it can impose on the ambiance when seated outdoors with a seaside view.
We also got to try the sides, which here comprised of a wide array of everything from guacamole to cheese sauces. These included the delicious, if obligatory, Pico de Gallo and salsas. However, they shine when they take a bit of a risk as with both the Habanero sauce and the chili con queso. The trick with any habanero based sauce is to temper the chili enough to allow your average eater to benefit from the flavor profile (after all, this is not a chili eating contest), whilst still keeping it loaded with enough spice that you get exactly the burn you bargained for when piling it on; here this is done to perfection. Additionally, the in house prepared chili con queso (which virtually no restaurant in their right mind does from scratch due to the ease of finding can bought versions), here makes all the difference. Seriously, just a tortilla and a bucket of this and I would be set. And though its evidence of more of their Tex-mex influence than authentic, you wont be disappointed with the BBQ sauce they put on the brisket: a distinctively flavored soda-based sauce of deliciousness.
What is most notable here is that they did not forego some of the authentically Mexican ingredients that you generally do not find from international brands abroad. While staples like cilantro (you better not call it coriander in this context!) might be the expected prerequisite to your dining experience, there are a surprising amount of extras. From Achiote and chipotle chilies, to Cotija (aged Mexican cheese) and queso fresco, they have spared no expense in keeping it authentic. Kudos!
Lastly, for desserts they have a number of sweet tacos served with Haagen-Dazs ice cream that may be just the solution to the chili burn in your mouth. While anyone who has ever touched it knows the dreamy-deliciousness that is a Nutella and banana combination, here the lightly fried taco shell surrounding it serves as the perfect balance to the sweeter flavors found within. Additionally, the Apple, Cherry, and Peach variants provide fruit based versions of the same, for those inclined. All of which provide a nice finish to an already fun meal.
Rowdy Taco is located at Alia & Ghalia Towers on the Coastal Road in Mahboula (between exits 210 and 211). Reach them by phone at 9607 0102 or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @Rowdytacoq8.