100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Alegria

Trio of tacos from Alegria. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

One of the best ways to begin a round of small plates at Patrick Bazin’s snug Mexican kitchen is with an order of sweet plantain sopes—fluffy masa cakes stuffed with the soft fruit plus black-bean purée, queso fresco, and an elegant Oaxacan-style black mole. Served with thin tortilla chips, a molcajeteof fresh jalapeño-laced guacamole makes for another good opener. Jalapeño shows up again, pickled this time, in Baja-style, tempura-fried fish tacos with vinegary slaw, one of the star dishes. The one thing that’s unfortunate about the oft-crowded restaurant: the acoustics. One screaming kid can ruin an evening here. Good thing the margaritas are strong. 

Open: Sunday through Friday for dinner, Saturday for brunch and dinner. 

Don’t Miss: Queso fundido; mushroom-and-goat-cheese taquitos; portobello-mushroom tacos with pumpkin seeds; short-rib enchiladas; passionfruit margarita.

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