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If you are looking for an authentic cultural food experience, this is it. Universal CityWalk’s two new restaurants Antojitos Cocina Mexicana and VIVO Italian Kitchen did not disappoint.

Photo by Michael Sandoval/MUSE

The vibrant colors and live music made it feel like a party. Placed in the heart of CityWalk, everyone can enjoy the live music set on the patio. Executive Chef Gian Caterina brought a taste of Mexico to the menu. “Pollo Mole” was a highlight dish. The chicken was juicy, with mole drizzled on top, and fresh crumbled cheese, it elevated the classic chicken taco. They also served vegan chorizo tacos for non-meat eaters. Don’t let the word vegan fool you, “Vegan Chorizo con Fundido” was packed with flavor, you won’t believe it’s vegan.

Antojitos Guacamole with Pomegranate. Photo by Michael Sandoval/MUSE

The drinks were as tasty as the food. With over 150 tequilas from around the world, there was a lot of creativity when creating the cocktails. Infusing traditional drinks like Holchata with Bourbon was surprisingly good. The cinnamon on top made the drink perfect for the holiday season. 

Photo by Michael Sandoval/MUSE

The Tres Leches dessert will wash your palette in a sweet subtle way. Made with a coconut base for the no dairy diners, it is still soaked in richness. 

Vivo Italian Kitchen is a modern but warm take on Italian dining. Family recipes and freshly made pasta are all guided by the stewardship of Executive Chef Cyndi Tran. The pasta will have you craving a second plate. The “Pesto Trofie” pasta was coated evenly in the pesto. Freshly fine-cut tomatoes add a tangy taste. The crisp salty cheese on top added a layer of flavor and texture. 

Enjoy the end of a nice dinner with homemade desserts like Ricotta Cheesecake, homemade Gelato, and Tiramisu. The highlight dessert for VIVO was the Tiramisu. Having the proper amount of layers made the dessert more enjoyable and light. Whether you are a sweet tooth or not, this dessert is perfect for everyone after a full meal.