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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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This place is one of the more unusual (and delicious) Mexican restaurants in the city—the two chefs here were originally cooks in the kitchen at Nopa around the corner, and their staff/family meals were so delicious that the Nopa owners were inspired to create this restaurant around their cooking. The menu features authentic recipes prepared skillfully with excellent ingredients, from seasonal salads and a spicy beef empanada to the succulent pork carnitas and a fulfilling posole. All the tortillas are made from an organic house-ground masa (also used in the delicious tortilla chips layering the chilaquiles during weekend brunch). And dishes expertly feature so many of Mexico's flavorful peppers like the guajillo, chile de arbol, and pasilla. It's a casual space with a variety of tables, communal seating, and a counter, and quite popular with families yet equally pleasing for adult groups perusing its well-selected tequila list. Expect a substantial wait in the evening—you'll have to leave your name on a list, but you can call before heading over to get your name on the waiting list in advance. There's also a take-out window if you're feeling impatient. Or try a late weekday lunch, like at 2 when it's cleared out.
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