The graffitied murals and kitschy Day of the Dead trinkets help foster a spring-break vibe at this UES cantina. A blaring ’90s soundtrack and collegiate clientele finish the job. But despite the fiesta vibe, much of the food is comparatively dull—a disappointment given the pedigree of consulting chef Julieta Ballesteros (Crema). A far-too-mild mole sauce does nothing to enhance bland chicken enchiladas, and the underseasoned fish tacos barely register on the palate. Smaller plates, however, satisfy, especially the queso flameado, a savory baked Chihuahua-cheese dip, and the tasty banana-and-chocolate dessert empanadas. Unlimited cocktails at weekend brunch ($14) promise to turn your meal into a party—if not a particularly classy one.
1491 Second Ave
|Cross street:||at E 78th St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Wed 4pm–midnight; Thu, Fri 4pm–1am; Sat 10am–1am; Sun 10am–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 6 to 77th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $16. AmEx, MC, V|