Let’s just start this off by saying that Mexican food is almost always a crowd pleaser. Very rarely will you get a “no” when suggesting the tantalizing flavors of the south country to a group of friends. Usually (in NYC at least) Mexican joints are more about the margaritas and atmosphere than the food (you know, good drinks, good friends). Luckily for us, this joint is both fun and good. The place looks as if the Mexican day of the dead exploded–or like a piñata threw up on the walls. Its low red lighting and traditional Mexican folk/trash art adds to the authentic flavor of the restaurant. Having been to Mexico on vacation several times, we know that actual Mexican cuisine is nothing like Taco Bell, Chi-Chi’s, Burritoville, or even Mary Ann’s. In fact, there’s no such thing as a Mexican pizza, a Meximelt or a burrito for that matter. Despite the preponderance of wraps and crap, there is some good authentic Mexican food served here, including good salsa (although you have to pay for it), delicious chicken mole and even cojita cheese on top of your beans (a very authentic touch). We’re not saying it’s so homey that you’re going to leave the place with some sort of intestinal parasite, or pay 37 pesos for your meal, but anything’s possible. We think it’s the perfect place to go with a group before blasting your way (literally) into a velvet rope SoHo hot spot. Oh, we always suggest drinking margaritas, so try ’em. [MF]
19 Cleveland Pl.