Stopped by for a very late dinner with two friends last night and had a mixed experience.
-service was so friendly. I arrived right before everyone else and was going to wait at the bar, but the hostess kept asking if I'd rather not have a seat (even though our party wasn't all there). I finally figured out that once the show across the street let out, I'd have a hard time, so I took her up on her offer. The waitstaff was great, and I noticed when I got up to use the restroom that every single member of the staff makes eye contact and smiles when you walk by. In a very casual, friendly way, but it's noticeable because we live in a society where it's commonplace for strangers to never make eye contact.
-the cazuela. It wasn't on the menu, but it was readily available when I asked for it. This is soda with the juice of a few different citrus fruits and tequila (usually Cazadores reposado, but I asked for it to be replaced with whatever blanco they use. Forgot to ask what the house blanco tequila is, but I assume Herradura silver). Very refreshing, and not a bad deal considering it comes in a huge bowl and was too much for the two of us to share.
-the pollo de cazuela. Half a chicken marinated in chili, covered with tomato slices, wrapped in banana leaves, and baked. The banana leaves smelled SO good, and the chicken was juicy all the way through. The chicken was best soaked in all the marinating juices.
-the dessert. WOW! Talk about your good molten chocolate cake. I know, it's a tired concept, but this was well excecuted and used dark Mexican chocolate to avoid being cloyingly sweet. The Fiorello (Fiorella?) vanilla gelato was the perfect accompaniment. Does anyone know where I can buy Fiorello?
THE NOT SO GOOD
-the guacamole. I've loved it so much in the past, but somehow it was just okay today. Not enough lime, now that I think about it. Since this is made tableside, it could have just been our server. The ingredients were as delicious as ever, the guacamole as a whole was just less than the sum of its parts.
-the tortillas. The first batch we got were a little cool and becoming rubbery. The second batch was so hot we almost burned our hands. Both batches weren't as light and fluffy as I remember.
-salsas were very watery and not very complex.
-the mole poblano. The sauce was flavorful but a little on the sweet side. I'd like it to be a little more dark and smokey, or even with a touch of bitterness to offset the sweet. It tasted like some types of Taiwanese beef jerky, which are very sweet. Not really what I want in mole, and the chicken chunks in it were dry.