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Published May 04, 2010

The Devil Inside
A Massive Mexican Saloon on Ave A

You've sweet-talked bouncers, descended dark staircases and squeezed past smoky kitchens, all in the name of entering secretive lairs of tacos and tequila.

But once in a while, you just want to gracefully waltz through the front door and order a michelada.

Welcome to Diablo Royale Este, a massive, ornately crafted, down-and-dirty Mexican saloon opening tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo and other late nights of tequila-soaked rock-and-roll revelry.

Like its older, smaller cousin in the West Village, any hint of pretense is lost under the glare of hundreds of Mexican church candles reflecting off red chandeliers made of deer antlers. This is where you'll come for margarita/beer hybrids, Gaucho BBQ platters of sliced rib eye for 10 served on the back patio and puzzling over not one, but two staircases that lead nowhere at all.

It's just the kind of Mexican saloon you'd expect to find a demon Salma Hayek in, wrestling a python and preparing to devour a room full of lowlifes—just with fewer lowlifes, about the same amount of tequila and bites of fried oyster tacos.

And if you simply can't enjoy tequila without first descending a hidden staircase, Diablo Royale Este delivers with an underground "bordello" of blood red walls, mirrored ceilings, a rotating projection of classic rock videos and a billiard table hidden under a dining room table.

We won't tell you what's hidden beneath the billiard table.
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