Posada is Back and Better than Ever
The Livermore hot spot expands and adds a bar—to rave reviews.
by Alexis Posada
Opening a colorful Southwestern restaurant next to a tattoo parlor across from a high school on the edge of town seemed like a lark. Surely, Eduardo and Blanca Posada, a down-to-earth couple with a successful catering business, were getting in over their heads.
But that was three years ago. Today, their renovated and expanded restaurant seats 84—twice as many as before. It also has a new wine bar and a vastly expanded kitchen, and that tattoo parlor is now Posada’s dining room.
Chef Eduardo’s legendary braised short ribs draped in blackberry mole poblano are still on the menu, as are the fragrant blue corn pancakes piled high with BBQ duck. But after the Posadas explored contemporary Peruvian and Spanish restaurants, including Parada in Walnut Creek and Coqueta in San Francisco, their menu appears more refined, with tropical vinaigrettes, citrus, and sublime chilies, echoing Posada’s flair for vibrant plate presentations.
Grilled oysters are Eduardo’s favorite menu addition, served neat with a limey mignonette or as oysters Posada—grilled until they pop and topped with a fresh-chopped salsa, whose juices flow into the oyster’s warmed liquor. Blanca’s favorite new dish is the mussels, shrimp, and chorizo plate. The most popular dish continues to be Posada’s signature mahimahi tacos served with a salad of watermelon, arugula, and queso fresco.
Our favorite? Slices of carne asada fanned as finely as the fork-tender steak’s ripe avocado garnish. A roasted poblano pepper, bulging with crab meat, completed the plate.
So, the food is even better. But what about those wines? Posada opened with what seemed like an unwieldy array of Livermore Valley selections. How could such a tiny restaurant support such a big list? Well, the restaurant isn’t so small anymore. And a new climate-controlled wine wall—the centerpiece of the dining room—offers those same local wines and more: European and California bottles have been added to the collection.
Relax, It’s Brunch
Arriving less than 10 minutes after our noon opening-time reservation, we found a dozen parties had already been seated and were perusing Posada’s brunch menu, some on the shaded patio, others in the Santa Fe–themed dining room.
But the staff didn’t miss a beat, and soon, we were enjoying tender fried eggs atop fried tortillas with a tangy tomatillo sauce, and stone-ground grits with sweet shrimp.
The Posadas’ son, Alexis, whose responsibilities include brunch, says that despite demand, there are no plans to move up the noontime start. He wants his hard-working cooks to gather for a family breakfast before the doors open.
Makes sense to me. In fact, the relaxed vibe is contagious. Rather than split after our main dishes, we lingered over Mexican hot chocolate and mini churros. Sundays, it seems, are made for savoring. 988 Murrieta Blvd., Livermore, (925) 606-1004, posada restaurant.com. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun., brunch Sat.–Sun.