You’ve done burrito-shack Mexican.
You’ve even done fancy Bayless “Mexican.”
Still, you’ve never had Mexican quite like this...
Prepare to meet Gracias Madre, an airy, tipsy Mexican restaurant with a game-changing surprise (and a nice patio and stuff), opening Friday on Melrose in West Hollywood.
Not hard to imagine when you might get a craving for Mexican food. What with the you-having-a-pulse thing. Next time that happens, call everybody and congregate here: a breezy, high-roofed cottage that feels like you’ve crashed somebody’s (mom’s) place in Polanco.
The Oaxacan-tiled bar is big, the view of the olive-treed patio is nice, and... you could be forgiven for ignoring the cocktail menu and saying, “Surprise me.” Turns out, your tequila might show up with mezcal mist, tempranillo, habanero shrub and raspberry jam. Surprise.
Once assembled, your group will move past the dining room and out on that patio—by the fireplace if this “group” is one person who is a date. Then, to your waitress, you nonchalantly say a few words that quickly catch your eye. Gorditas. Chilaquiles. Enchiladas. Mezcal paletas. Eventually, the twist ending hits you:
You had no pork. The cheese wasn’t cheese. You’re at a vegan Mexican restaurant from the Café Gratitude people.
And Bruce Willis is a ghost.