Mexican Breakfast at Prima Restaurant
While the kitchen is serving grilled lobster tail and marinated octopus flatbread, the kitchen is enjoying fresh tortillas with huevos con chorizo and salsa.
There’s one thing Chef Salvador “Sal” Avila wants you to do while eating dinner at Prima, make a mess. “I love it when we clear off the table and it’s all messy, and it’s like, you did good here at Prima,” says Sal. People can get intimidated by Prima’s white tablecloths and fancy setting (complete with shimmering chandeliers designed by Bruce Monroe). But according to Sal, “I want to give the feeling of eating at home on a white tablecloth at your rich uncle’s house. And a dirty tablecloth means you ate with gusto and enjoyed yourself, that you shared and passed food around, which is the principle aim of Prima.”
This homage to “home” extends to the kitchen as well. Many of Sals cooks were not traditionally trained, but had a sincerity and desire to be in the kitchen, which is more important to Sal. “Follow your instincts man,” is something heard a lot in the kitchen. That and “have fun,” both of which have created a kitchen that is family. A big part of this family is “mama” and cook, Apolonia Navarro. She landed at Prima through her sister, who is a line cook at sister restaurant, Burger Up. Apolonia was born in Mexico and had her own restaurant in Oaxaca, Mexico, and according to Sal, “can cook her ass off.” “The month she started I just asked her to cook whatever she wanted. That turned out to be huevos con chorizo and fried potatoes. She also makes a mean mole.” Apolonia is a women of few words, at least English words. But she keeps the Prima kitchen well fed and well loved, “she gives the best hugs ever,” says Sal.