HOLY MOLE. Colibri Mexican Bistro is that good!

TACO about being loyal ….

Chef Edgar Castro

Since it opened, I’ve been frequenting Colibri, established by owners Eduardo and Sylvia Rallo, whose desire is to share Central Mexican plates from their childhood. Oftentimes, I go dining at Colibri’s outdoor patio on warm, sunny days and bring family and friends.

Its private rooms are cool spaces where I can be found “partying” or celebrating a special occasion. At Colibri, general manager Emma Navarro watches over the dining room like a mom, with Victor Manuel beside her. They are not only hospitable, but extremely keen on running a tight ship for a delightful experience. I always look forward to tasting Chef Edgar’s latest creations. Chef Edgar is the mastermind behind the mouthwatering dishes at Colibri Mexican Bistro.

Chef Edgar Castro’s culinary journey began in his hometown of Merida, Yucatán, where his mother taught him the secrets of the delicious and diverse Yucatecan cuisine. After graduating from high school, he decided to follow his passion to the US where he honed his skills with some of the best chefs in the Bay Area. He is proudly adept at showcasing the diversity of Mexican cuisine.

Castro’s love for cooking is as hot as the dishes he creates. His culinary creations, as colorful as they are flavorful, make lips smack. In 2005, Castro worked one job as a line cook at La Suite, a popular French restaurant on the Embarcadero, and a second job as a line cook at Colibri to get the most experience possible. In 2007, he joined the Chez Papa team as a line cook and worked under chef David Bazirgan for the next three years. Castro learned a lot from Bazirgan, who was his mentor and a true inspiration.

His hard work paid off. A few years later, he was promoted to sous chef at Colibri Mexican Bistro. Further demonstrating his talent and love for Mexican cuisine, he was promoted to chef de cuisine in 2009. Castro constantly looks for new recipes and tries new flavors, making his regional specials a monthly delight. Currently the executive chef of Colibri, he leads research and development efforts at the commissary kitchen just a few doors down from the restaurant.




HL: Who and why were you inspired to become a chef?

EC: My mother had a lot to do with it. Ever since I was very young, I saw how she loved to cook for us and that love inspired me to become a chef, to cook with the same love for others that she did for her family.

HL: If stranded on a deserted island, what three kitchen tools must you have to survive?

EC: Knife, lighter, pot .

HL: If you had a “dream meal,” with whom would you like to share it at your dinner table, dead or alive?

EC: Chef David Bazirgan, the first chef I ever worked for.

HL: Tell us a story about when you felt like a hero in the kitchen? EC: Without a doubt it was during the pandemic, because a lot of chefs were calling in sick or could not work. So, the team and I who were

there had to take on all the extra work to put on a good service, all while running the risk of getting COVID ourselves.

HL: Any future plans on the horizon or dreams?

EC: I’d definitely like to open my own restaurant one day here in San Francisco, serving authentic Yucatán cuisine.






  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange
  • 7 ounces milk
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 5 pounds pork lard or butter
  • 7 pounds pork leg
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 ounces tomatillos
  • 1 pound jalapeño
  • 8 pieces árbol chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pieces guajillo chile pepper
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed


  1. Add the garlic, cinnamon stick, orange, milk, oregano, pepper, salt onion and brandy in the blender.
  2. Blend until ingredients form a thick paste.
  3. Cut each pork leg into eight pieces, season with salt and pepper. Marinade for 12 hours.
  4. Heat the lard or butter on low heat.
  5. Add the marinated pork and confit in low heat.
  6. Remove once it’s cooked through and tender.


  1. In a pot, heat up the oil and add árbol chiles and guajillo chiles. After a few minutes, take them out and rehydrate the chiles in hot water.
  2. In a blender, add the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeño, onions, rehydrated chiles, cilantro, garlic. Puree.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and spring onions.
  4. Keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container.




  • ½ pound mushrooms, diced
  • ¾ pounds onions, diced
  • 5 whole poblano peppers
  • ½ pound fresh corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¾ pound zucchini, diced
  • 1 pound Yukon potatoes, diced
  • ¾ pound carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces blended oil
  • Sour cream (for topping)
  • Queso fresco (for topping)


  1. Heat the grill and add oil.
  2. Fry onion, zucchini, mushroom, carrots, and potatoes until cooked through.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Cool on a tray and strain out the excess oil.
  4. Roast the poblano peppers over the flame until cooked. Transfer to a small bowl and seal. Let it sit for five minutes.
  5. Take the poblano peppers out of the bowl and peel off the skins. Cut a small slit into the peppers. Stuff the peppers with the vegetable mixture on the tray.
  6. Place each pepper slit side down on a plate and garnish with sour cream and queso fresco.





  • ¾ pound tomatillos, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic, chopped
  • ½ liter chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon epazote, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup pozolero corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a pot and cook the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, and garlic.
  2. When the mixture is well caramelized, add the chicken broth, cilantro, epazote, oregano, cumin, and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes, then pour into a blender. Blend until smooth and strain.
  4. In another pot, add the strained soup to the corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.






  • 8 pieces lamb shank
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1.5 quarts shortening oil
  • Lamb shank sauce (below)
  • 1 pound whole banana leaves (soaked for at least 30 minutes)
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 8 ancho chile peppers
  • 7 Roma tomato, chopped, no seeds
  • 1 ounce olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 liter chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano



  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. In a hot pot, add the soil and sear the lamb.
  4. Remove the oil from pot and add lamb to the salsa (recipe above).
  5. Cut banana leaves in 12-inch squares and aluminum foil in 17-inch squares.
  6. Wrap each lamb shank in a banana leaf, then tightly wrap each “package” in aluminum foil.
  7. Place in a bain-marie (hot water bath). Cover with aluminum foil and steam inside the pre-heated oven for four hours.
  8. Place lamb shanks on plates with lamb shank sauce.
  1. In a heated pot, add the oil and fry the ancho chile. Remove and place into hot water to hydrate.
  2. In the same oil, add the onion, garlic, and cinnamon and sauté until caramelized. Then add the tomatoes.
  3. Cook until the juice from the tomatoes leaches out. Then add the rest of the ingredients, except broth, salt, and chocolate.
  4. Add chicken broth, salt, and chocolate. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce into the blender and blend until smooth. Strain and set aside to cool.