Marvin Revolorio, owner and executive chef of Taro Kitchen and Cocktail in Highland Village, opened the restaurant after a lifetime of experience.

Revolorio opened his first restaurant in Guatemala when he was 20 years old, he said. There he specialized in seafood sourced from the oceans that bookend the country's eastern and western shores. After moving to the U.S. at 27, he worked as a chef for the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas where he honed skills in American cuisine, Revolorio said.

The details

Revolorio later opened Taro in April 2022 at 41 years old. The restaurant is the culmination of all his experience into a Latin American fusion cuisine with heavy Guatemalan influences while blending flavors from Mexican and Peruvian cuisine, he said. It also offers a full bar with signature cocktail recipes made with alcohols from Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia, including Gallo, one of the most popular beers in Guatemala.

Revolorio maintains use of Guatemalan cooking techniques where the food is defined by the flavor of the produce rather than through the use of condiments, making use of peppers, potatoes, green beans and corn. Salt, pepper, garlic and onion are normally the only condiments used in each dish, he said.

What’s on the menu

For appetizers Taro serves thin salted chips made from taro, a root vegetable similar to a potato that also serves as the restaurant’s namesake, Revolorio said. The same chips can also be ordered as nachos layered with refried black beans, Jack cheese and fajita chicken with a side of house pickled jalapenos, guacamole and pico de gallo.

Taro root is also a key component of the Taro Breeze, a drink which blends a chilled taro root puree with vodka that makes for a thick, sweet purple-colored cocktail, Revolorio said.

But the menu hinges on signature dishes, such as the ahi tuna ceviche, a raw ahi tuna marinated with sesame oil, rice vinegar and fresh ginger and topped with celery, avocado, green onions, diced fresh orange and red radish. The dish is finished with house pickled onions and a lime peel, and it is served with taro root chips, Revolorio said.

Fresh fruit is also added to every dish, a Taro trademark that helps balance out flavors, he said. Taro chefs also put careful consideration into the artistic presentation of each plate.

“Tasting begins with the eyes,” he said.

Going forward

Revolorio runs his kitchen with passion and encourages his staff to follow suit in everything from preparation to service and hospitality, he said.

“If the kitchen is happy, then the food is happy, and the customers will leave happy,” he said.

This core value has led to regular customers and being embraced by Highland Village, a community he has come to love and one he hopes to soon give back to, Revolorio said. Starting next year, he plans to cook food for the homeless one Monday each month.

“Cooking for others shows love even without talking, and this is my passion,” he said.