I’ll try to be objective in this review, but be warned that there is an element that prevents me from doing it: the day I visited it, I was only three tables away from Thom Yorke…yes, Radiohead’s singer, with the guitarist Colin Greenwood on one side and many others. You know, casual. Chewing their food. Drinking from their glasses. And this is not the worst part: they told me it was their second visit. Since I’m not a big fan, I just had a small attack and didn’t choke with the exquisite artichoke cream I was eating when I saw them.
There are places — the one I’m writing of—that, inexplicably, have instant success. This one was only two weeks open the day I placed my visit. T-w-o weeks! By this time, Clark from Saint Vincent already came to dine, and now Radiohead. And no, we’re not talking about a fancy restaurant in London or New York. This is the corner of Mérida and Tabasco streets in la Roma, same place that once was an old and abandoned laundry, right in front of a restaurant that sold tortas poblanas.
When a restaurant opens, the normal thing is that flies come first and then a few clients. If the place is good, then the word of mouth will spread and may luckily become famous after several weeks or even months. Or not. Something weird happened here. As soon as they opened, tables were full and remained like that ever since. Now they have international celebrities.
Maybe the story behind the owners would give us a clue: they are also responsible of Félix, the cute and nice little bar just a block away. The owners, from Monterrey, are always aware of their business. This explains the reason why drinks occupy two from the four pages of the menu (one for wine and the other for mezcal, beer, whiskey, coffee and sodas). Maybe this will also explain the successful PR formula that supports them and never makes them seem ostentatious. And even if the place gets crowded everyday —with celebrities— and tables are for ever occupied, and no matter how antisocial you are, you already know the existence of this restrained place: no luminous sign, nor an impressive decoration. Not even tables along the street.
Faint candlelight illuminate tables at night. And yet, everyone knows about this place. And the menu? Sandwiches, salads, and soups, nothing more. Nothing about signature cuisine nor complex dishes. That day, apart from my soup, I ordered the london broil (meat filled sandwich) with avocado, aioli and sprouts of onion; would I order it again? No doubt about it. And for dessert, lemon pie (I’ve had better), espresso (indeed, great coffee) all in pretty affordable prices.
Seriously, places like this should open in every corner of the city.