El Cortez

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84 Very Good

This south-of-the-border follow-up to the Commodore serves taco salad and frozen cocktails in industrial Bushwick.

17 Ingraham St., Brooklyn, NY, 11206



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The lowdown

This colorful bi-level restaurant sports a bar on each floor, a patio for drinking Zombies in the moonlight, and the capacity for just under a couple hundred revelers. The owners aren’t trying to mine Mexican restaurants of any era but just mesh together a bunch of things they like. The menu focuses on what the owners call “all three Mexicans”: hot plate, gringo, and Mexican-Mexican. There’s no fried-chicken queso or chili con carne, but Mission-style burritos, loaded “All-American” tacos, and a chimichanga. There’s also a cheeseburger, because who cares? Cocktails lean heavily in the direction of Tiki and the kind of lowbrow drinks that caused the mixology revolution: classic drinks your grandparents definitely drank, like the piña colada and rum punch, made with quality ingredients and a whole lot of trial and error.

Chris Crowley

What you need to know

Insider Tips Check out the after-hours DJ’s laser lights upstairs.

Recommended DishesBurrito; nachos; Orange Julio.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelBring earplugs!