Prune in the E Village is tiny but wonderful, and I have wanted to try it for a long time. Monkfish liver was my agenda but it doesn't brunch, I find. I really don't like anything like brunch, but that is what there is, so I brunch. It is all delicious and they make a nice bloody mary, but I am haunted by the "shoulda hads," spiced chick peas in this case. Some shards of my rösti potatoes flick onto the brown paper on the table, and I watch with gleeful horror as the grease from the potatoes soaks into the paper. Newly-seated people to my left are informed that the potatoes are gone and they are disappointed. I sort of crook my elbow around mine, although whether I do this from guilt or to ward off pilferage I am not sure. The man to my right has some kind of yogurt spillage on his dark shirt and scrubs at it with his paper napkin. His partner suggests that he might want to ask for a "lint-free cloth." For some reason that has nothing to do with the second bloody mary, I am sure, I find this very funny and I suck on my lemon wedge to keep myself quiet. You got to love a place that finishes your meal with tough, tasty licorice Scotty Dogs instead of mints. What is it about licorice? Have to go back for dinner.
After a day of shopping and a movie, I am ready to try Sueños. It is small and painted in bright colors (another interesting restroom) and I arrive at 6, but feel lucky to get a table. Even the napkins are mango colored. There is an enormous mirror hanging on the opposite wall that annoys me by forcing me to correct my posture throughouth the meal. The food is wonderful. Watermelon margaritas knock the dust off my day. I try a huitlacoche tamal, something that I have wanted to sample for a while. Hard to make fungus sound appealing, but it is remarkable, fragrant, dusky stuff. It's a hit, and I all but lick the plate. Afterward a delicious tamarind-glazed sirloin over a plantain and goat cheese pancake-thing. That is sweet-ish and I don't love it, but the steak with "nopales" over all (wonderful, gluey, slime-stringy green peppers and crisp-fried onion) is terrific. There is an earnest latino server who is compelled to announce every ingredient as he puts the plates down, rather as if he had just created them himself backstage. I am momentarily stunned when he presents the next table something or other with "baby's penis," but realized that he has actually said "baby spinach." I am able to breathe again, but am not able to manage dessert. Like this place.