Torti Taco is a family business. So when Albert Ramirez got a call from his cousin about opening a new kind of Torti restaurant, Albert left Seattle and came to Battle Creek. 

Torti Taco Bar & Grill has the same award-winning tacos on the lunch menu, but this downtown entry focuses on dinner entrees and the seafood bar. 

Albert is the seafood chef at Torti Taco Bar & Grill. With 20 years experience, he specializes in Japanese cooking.  

Now in charge of his own menu, he likes to bring a Latin fusion twist to the more mild ingredients of sushi and sashimi.  

“A lot of the ingredients, the Spanish, comes easy to me, because I’m Mexican, but I’ve worked for a lot of Japanese people over 20 years, so that’s why I know their culture,” Albert said. 

One of his creations is Rainbow Tartare, made up of finely chopped tuna, salmon, shrimp and avocado tobiko over a bed of sushi rice with green sauce, yuzu mayo and fried onions. 

However, it’s a classic dish that makes Torti stand out: fresh oysters. It brings a little taste of the ocean to a wintry day.  

Mezcal and tequila go well with oysters, so maybe pair your order with an original cocktail such as the Mango Ahumado (tequila, mezcal, mango, ginger, lime) or the Oaxacanite (tequila, mezcal, honey, lime, bitters). Or drink a glass of prosecco. 

If you’re not a fan of seafood, there’s plenty of other innovative dishes to try. Albert says the Camarones en Costra de Chicharrones is really good, with fried pork skin – and the shrimp can be switched with chicken, pork, beef or mushrooms. He also recommends the Arrachera, a skirt steak marinated in orange and herbs and served with black beans, rice and tortillas. 

“We try to do everything more fresh, to give to the people,” Albert said.