Sun-Mon, 6pm-10pm; Tues-Wed, 6pm-11:30pm; Thurs-Sat, 6pm-12:30am
L at Eighth Ave.; A, C, E at 14th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This Mexican-inspired restaurant from the group behind Catch and the General does little in the way of avoiding meatpacking clichés. The hostesses would not look out of place on a Paris catwalk, and the stylish two-floor dining space is more reminiscent of a trendy nightclub than a taco joint. Former La Esquina chef Akhtar Nawab offers an elevated take on casual Mexican food: Starters include a range of well-executed salsas, guacamole (studded with pomegranate and pistachios), and a bubbling queso fundido. A significant portion of the menu’s dedicated to lighter crudos and street-food-inspired small plates, like roasted carrots served with a citrusy lime-spiked aïoli and salty cotija cheese. The tacos are underwhelming compared to the rest of the fare—too small tortillas are overstuffed with fillings like chicken tinga, but lack the necessary amount of fresh salsa verde to counteract the richness. But for the carb-conscious, there’s an option to trade tortillas for thinly slice jicama. The cocktails are pricey (many surpass the $20 mark), but dessert is a complete steal. Order the chocolate tres leches, which comes drenched in tequila ganache and topped with a quenelle of housemade Mexican vanilla ice cream.Recommended Dishes
Queso fundido,$14; Mexico City street carrots, $10; chocolate tres leches, $12