To the ultra-trendy Near South Side and the space formerly occupied by Junsuree Thai House comes Mijo’s Fusion, the youngest, prettiest sister in the Mijo’s family of Tex-Mex restaurants. For 15 years, the original location, in Pantego, has been serving Tex-Mex eats spiked with a little Caribbean flair from a strip mall. A second location, also in South Arlington, looks like a box and is weirdly decorated like some sort of Cubist painting. But on Fort Worth’s West Magnolia Avenue, the treatment chosen is chic and lovely. Owner Connie Sheen and her crew completely renovated the space, with classic oak tables and butter-yellow leather chairs, plum-colored walls, a gleaming new bar, a small patio area, and a couple of big-screen televisions.
The food is also different. There are pronounced Asian and South American twists on the traditional Tex-Mex, starting with the appetizers. While the large cup of guacamole was fairly standard (heavy on the garlic and red onion, definitely fresh), the tequila-wasabi yellow fin tuna tower was unusual, stacked from the bottom up with fresh sushi-grade tuna, wasabi-laced guacamole, bits of mango as accent, and Mijo’s take on classic “dirty rice” on top. The rice was flavored with garlic and, mainly for color, just a hint of cilantro, and the tuna wasn’t minced but served in awkward chunks. Inexplicably, the rice was warm, which created a weird sensory combination: cold fish, lukewarm guacamole, and warm rice. The concept was good, but the execution lacked.
No matter. The Cancun shrimp chalupas were executed perfectly. Two fried red-corn tortillas came piled with mango, chopped onion, guacamole, and a shredded cabbage mixture, along with shrimp and a sprinkling of cheese. The sweet mango and guacamole combined nicely with the slightly spicy shrimp.