Paco is coming back.
The Mexican restaurant ranked as one of Texas’ “50 best” by Texas Monthly will reopen next month as Paco’s Mexican Cuisine.
Francisco Islas, the chef behind the former Paco & John Diner, will reopen around the corner from the old location. Paco’s will take over a former sushi and Vietnamese restaurant at 1504 W. Magnolia Ave., near Seventh Avenue across the street from Ellerbe.
This time, Islas will serve Mexican, Yucatecan and a few fine-dining specialties without the partnership of French restaurateur Bernard Tronche of Saint-Emilion, according to his son “Paco.”.
But the new Paco’s is more modern than the old diner, a former gas station with feeble air conditioning.
Islas’ cooking will bring Magnolia a small, personal, boutique-Mexican restauranat like the west side’s Mariposa’s or Oakhurst’s Enchiladas Ole.
The restaurant will open by November, according to Paco Islas. Francisco Islas had said the restaurant would reopen nearby when he found a satisfactory location.
In 2010, Texas Monthly ranked Islas’ cooking among the state’s best, praising the serrano-laced salsa, “irresistible” grilled red-pepper street tacos, salmon enchiladas in guajillo, brunch chilaquiles and duck empanadas.
Of five local restaurants on that “50 best” list, only two remain. As it happens, both are only blocks from the new Paco’s: Benito’s Authentic Mexican Food and Esperanza’s Bakery & Cafe.
Paco’s is taking over a space that was formerly Nha Trang and before that Temaki Sushi.