Que bueno suerte! brings modern mexican to old south pearl in denver _ westword

I say this not just because Casa Bonita’s sopaipillas would be a step up from the flan, which has all the creaminess of extra-firm tofu. Good restaurants in san diego But if cliff divers were jumping off this mezzanine into a pool of water below, at least you’d have something other than horchata margaritas to take your mind off the wad of cash you’re dropping on food that sounds better than it is. Best restaurants in san diego ca Also, if divers claimed the upstairs for themselves, diners would never again be banished to that Siberia of dining rooms — dark, out of the way, and devoid of the main floor’s flamboyance, without which the premium pricing seems that much harder to justify.

Don’t get me wrong: The food at Que Bueno Suerte! is nothing like Casa Bonita’s combo platters.

Best mexican food in san diego The menu is devoted to modern Mexican fare, translated by a team that represents an embarrassment of culinary riches: consulting chef Dana Rodriguez, a two-time James Beard Best Chef Southwest nominee and chef-owner of Work & Class, and executive chef Vicente Sosa, formerly of Work & Class and Rioja. Best food places in los angeles The classics you do find come with elevated touches, such as lamb necks, not beef, and avocado-roasted-garlic aioli, not sour cream.

The chefs’ mission to showcase the breadth of Mexico’s storied cuisine is not only laudable, but long overdue, given the commonly held but entirely false notion that tacos and burritos are all there is. Best lunch places in los angeles But perhaps it was asking too much to transform Que Bueno!, a Mexican joint previously in Westminster and still operating in DIA, into Que Bueno Suerte! After all, Mission Yogurt, Inc., the Denver-based group behind Que Bueno Suerte!, specializes in airport concessions, not high-end dining.

Still, couples on dates seem to like it here. Best indian food in chicago So do groups of ladies in the gauzy, shoulder-baring shirts that are so popular now. Best lunch places in new orleans You’ll marvel at the space’s glitziness, with red-velvet booths, glass panels engraved with Mayan-style figurines, and those glowing fluorescent tubes rescued from the old Session Kitchen days. Best food places near me You’ll even like a few dishes — or parts of them, anyway — even if you won’t find yourself raving about them to friends the next day.

Start with pulpo a la parrilla (grilled octopus), with charred, coin-sized slices of octopus and a salad of fennel ribbons entwined with grapefruit. Good fast food places near me The brightness comes in waves: citrus-marinated octopus; dressing with juiced lemons, limes and oranges; and grapefruit carefully relieved of bitter pith and membranes to reveal its inner sweetness. Soul food restaurants in miami Chicken tinga is nicely nuanced thanks to its tomato-guajillo sauce. Soul food restaurants in atlanta ga Elote, reinterpreted as white grit cakes rather than street-style corn on the cob, is cut into logs and exquisitely fried, golden on the outside, creamy within. Soul food restaurants in atlanta georgia Swirl them in the requeson, a thin Mexican ricotta, and the grayish-green huitlacoche-butter sauce that mingle artfully on the plate.

Smoked pork tenderloin is generously portioned and wisely accented, with crisp jicama slaw and fried maduros that don’t hit like sugar bombs, thanks to a dusting of chipotle powder. Good chinese food that delivers near me Pibil is as winsome as you’d expect, given the dynamite version that Sosa — a native of the Yucatan, where the dish originated — made at Work & Class. Soul food restaurants in nj Here the dark-red sauce, with lime, orange and earthy achiote paste, is paired not with pork, but with pheasant, pan-roasted and on the bone.

These and other dishes, however, rarely reached their potential on my visits. Best lobster in atlanta Thinner octopus arms came out rubbery and overly blackened to the point of bitterness. Best lunch restaurants in los angeles Panucho had a scant smear of black-bean puree inside the pocket and next to no chicken tinga, making it nearly indistinguishable from plain (albeit housemade) tortillas topped with lettuce. Best lunch spots in los angeles The accompanying pitcher of heady chicken-chipotle jus, which servers tell you to sip between bites, made them even blander by comparison. Famous restaurants in los angeles for celebrities Wild-mushroom conserva that would’ve moved elote out of the bar-snack category was gone within a bite or two, and the earthiness of the huitlacoche sauce was masked by fennel and shishitos. Famous restaurants in los angeles Avocado mousse couldn’t salvage greasy beef empanadas that had a nasty habit of dripping in all the wrong places. Best lunch spots in san diego Mezcal-infused rice seemed to be missing one of its two main ingredients. Popular restaurants in los angeles An oversized tamal Yucateco, wrapped in plantain leaves rather than corn husks, needed far more achiote chicken for the expanse of dough.

Sauces were either overbearing or unreasonably shy. Best restaurants in san diego That lovely red sauce with the faisan a la pibil was heavily applied, making the pheasant skin soggy under the smother; the bird itself was dry, a disappointing substitution for what’s normally fork-tender cochinita. Best restaurants in downtown san diego In another entree, Oaxacan mole overshadowed the subtle richness of duck-leg confit, also plagued by soggy skin, and the sauce tasted strongly of chocolate, despite the list of twenty-some ingredients. Best places to eat in downtown san diego Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, gained little from the faint, sweet broth billed as a chipotle-orange pan sauce.

There’s just no escaping the feeling that you should be getting more for your money. Best places to eat in san diego on a budget This realization sets in early with the chips and salsa, the snack everyone loves to love. Good places to eat in san diego For $7, you’d expect a trio of salsas offering a range of heat, smoke and sweet. Mexican food in san diego Instead, you get one bland tomatillo concoction in desperate need of brightness, and chips that require more than a few shakes of salt to perk up. Best seafood restaurants in san diego Staff, though friendly, lacks the polish you’d expect from a restaurant with these aspirations. Best restaurants in chicago il Food is delivered drop-and-run style with nary a word, much less a detailed explanation of what’s on the plate.

When entrees top out at $42 and tabs for two accelerate to triple digits even when no one’s drinking, you might find yourself wishing you’d chosen a very different kind of Mexican restaurant for your night out. Mexican food in los angeles One with a show, perhaps, so at least you’d know what you’re paying for.

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Best dinner restaurants in los angeles Sunday-Wednesday, 4-11 p.m. Best inexpensive restaurants in chicago Thursday-Saturday

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