Given its recent renovation, the scale of this jewel in the Bayless crown remains largely the same, and welcomes a rush of serious diners for original south-of-the-border food with an upscale twist. While you still have to walk through cacophonous Frontera Grill to arrive here, the relative serenity that greets you is worth the detour. This bright and cheery dining room feels worlds away from the fiesta upfront, featuring windows draped with gold curtains and colorful artwork. The regional Mexican cuisine boasts a panoply of flavors, colors, and textures that are refined yet respect authenticity. Lunches are laid-back and include a quartet of quesadillas stuffed with chorizo, black beans and queso fresco. These are made even more luscious when served with a Veracruz salsa negra. Dinners demonstrate the full range of the kitchen’s capabilities, and unveil hiramasa slices temptingly arranged with petals of ripe mango and deliciously balanced by a brick-red jackfruit and chipotle sauce. There is no secret that cocktails here are noteworthy (margarita, anyone?), but teetotalers get equal attention thanks to sweet and tangy agua frescas splashed with tropical juices that are among the best in town.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors