The briefest of backstories—one of the owners of Gelso & Grand is involved here, so you’re allowed to have a little blind-faith in the vibes here. We certainly did. For this venture, they were going for a sort of hybrid spot that could be used for a tequila cocktail pitstop, date night or take-out tacos from the adjoining to-go window during a night out. Personally, we used it for feasting at 8pm on a Thursday.
And here’s what we found:
The Hype: It’s making that burgeoning pocket of Chinatown and its quietly hip repertoire spots burgeon more.
The Reality: For sure. It’s in good company, an actual stone’s throw from Forgtmenot, 169 Bar, Mission Chinese, and Dimes—depending on how good your arm is.
The Hype: The spot is super inviting, friendly, and unpretentious, even with that inherent hipness factor.
The Reality: Yeah. The name is laughing in Spanish, after all. But don’t expect it not to be packed; the place was buzzing pretty early on a weekday when we came through.
The Hype: They’re completely vegan, but you might not even notice.
The Reality: True. The shiniest example of surprising vegan-ness being the faux-chorizo-laden nachos topped with tumeric queso. Order these. Or the faux-chorizo tacos in tumeric tortillas with all your normal fixings. Order these as well.
The Hype: That mysterious, nogada (walnut) sauce-drenched, pomegranate-topped, quinoa-stuffed pepper is damn good and full of hyphens.
The Reality: Good. But weird. But good. But weird.
The Hype: If you’re going to go the cocktail route, you’ve got to try their pomegranate-jalapeno option.
The Reality: True. But the cilantro-mezcal drink with coconut cream and lime is worth gracing your palate with as well. Here, have a look at the menu.
The Hype: Their focus is on the Mexican spirits.
The Reality: Clearly. They’ve got 12 mezcals, 22 tequilas and a bunch of cocktails giving special attention to one or the other.