Four of us made a 5:30 Saturday reservation for dinner before a 7:30 theater performance a few blocks away. The restaurant was near empty when we arrived, about half full when we left a bit before 7:00. Having, among us, eaten at scores of Mexican restaurants in the city, and across the southwest, we decided to try Cafe Frida for the first time due to its proximity to the theater. We won't be retuning. There was nothing particularly unpleasant about our dinner but, at the same time, nothing to recommend it given the increasing quality of Mexican offerings all over the city. We had an array of margaritas, none particularly strong, the only standout being the "Diabla", made with blood orange; a bland, queso fundido with chorizo, poorly melted cheese, and inadequately warmed corn tortillas; shredded pork tacos that were bland and crying out for some kind of salsa to moisten them (none is offered with the tacos, and the (Englsh-speaking) waiter seemed not to understand our request to find something to perk them up); a bland chile relleno (which, at least, they'd gone to the effort to peel before filling); the "tamal del día" which was oily and as bland as the rest of the courses, not helped by the accompanying near-tasteless salsa; and a "jalapeña" salad, the most satisfying of the dishes we ordered. In all, a very disappointing meal, one we won't be repeating. Having not tried other Mexican restaurants in the immediate neighborhood, I can't say with certainty you can do better locally. I'd be shocked if you can't, however.
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