I've read feedback, from very favorable to not-so, on this board about Paladar, but most of it is a year old or more, so I wanted to solicit some opinions from those who have visited recently. Thinking of having a birthday dinner there in two weeks...I guess in the case of this group dinner, price and atmosphere are more important than top-notch food, though I've been looking for a place that combines all three elements (tasty eats are always good :) ).
Other suggestions around the East Village (for a party of about 10 mid-20-somethings who would probably like to keep the tab under $35-40 per head) would also be welcome. I'd love to try Boca Chica but am worried about the no-reservations policy. Looking for a fun atmosphere (loud is ok); any kind of cuisine is fine.