Trago Mexican Kitchen

an unexpected dining experience
625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia

Even if you like “Mexican” restaurants, the surprising truth is that you’ve probably never tasted the authentic cuisine of Mexico. At Trago Mexican Kitchen in Olympia’s Westfield Capital Mall, co-owners Sean Roach and Troy Selland offer dishes based on recipes that are up to 100 years old. They opened the first Trago in 2011, in Seattle, and its success spread to Olympia, with more locations planned.

“Most American restaurants are very Tex-Mex,” Roach says, meaning the usual cheese smothered fare, boring refried beans and tomato-based rice. “When you go to Mexico, it’s really not like that.” During many visits, he and Selland discovered the country’s genuine, complex and sophisticated cuisine. And they asked themselves, “Why is no one serving this kind of Mexican food in the U.S.?”

Trago’s enchiladas come with your choice of meats and—in addition to classic rojo or verde sauces—smoky barbecue flavored chipotle crema, or mole, with a chocolate-chili base. Taco fillings include barbecued pork with grilled pineapple, grilled Alaskan cod with cabbage and grilled jumbo shrimp.

Imagine Scallops con Tocino. The spice of freshly smoked habanero pepper flavors bacon-wrapped scallops, with mangohabanero chutney and purple mashed potatoes on the side. Try braised spareribs with a chili rub and beer demi-glace, wild sockeye salmon in tequila jalapeno butter sauce, a spicy grilled pork chop, or Trago’s version of Carne Asada—thin-sliced marinated and grilled flank steak over chipotle mashers. Enjoy sautéed fresh vegetables and exceptional salads on the side.

Nothing matters more to Roach and Selland than the enjoyment of their guests. They offer a comfortable, high-end dining experience, where details like wrought iron accents and twinkling candles add ambiance. And they encourage feedback, always trying new ideas. Roach invites you to discover what happens when they combine tradition with the best-tasting food, and says, “That’s the kind of fusion that makes our menu.”