Called ahead to get on the wait list (no reservations accepted) and our table was ready when we arrived - a very nice accommodation to the long wait outside. Service once we sat down was slow to start, but picked up once our server found us. Noisy and crowded is the norm here, so don't expect a romantic evening - take it to go for that and eat at home - you can pick up a lovely bottle of wine or interesting microbrew and a pint of gelato to finish at the gourmet grocer next door.
Food is truly exceptional. Lovely little bowl of fried spiced chickpeas arrived with our beverages (not a generous pour for $9 but okay). Quesadilla with pork belly to start - tortilla a deep rich flavor as it had been spiked with mulato chile. I expected crispy pork belly as per the menu for the filling, but alas, just uber tasty pulled pork with the crispy pig skin chicharron as garnish. Carnitas for my companion, carne asada for me. Carnitas were meltingly tender, and the tomatillo salsa a bright counterpoint to the rich pork, along with a fresh cabbage and carrot slaw. Carne asada was well marinated but still retained its inherent beefiness. The thin but flavor packed ancho gravy underneath was a perfect pairing and a delight - I am totally stealing the recipe. Smashed black beans on the side and nopales and a roasted poblano on top. Mmmmm. Fresh corn tortillas served on the side as bread service were clearly house made. Blue Bottle coffee to finish - a delicious meal and I recommend if your palette enjoys kicking it up a notch (apologies to