This is the stateside debut of Enrique Olvera, the megawatt Mexico City talent behind Pujol, regularly ranked one of the 20 best restaurants. Here you’ll find elegant high-gear small plates—pristine, pricey and market-fresh. Olvera’s single-corn tortillas pop up frequently, from a complimentary starter of crackly blue-corn tortillas with chile-kicked pumpkin-seed butter to dense, crispy tostadas dabbed with bone-marrow salsa and creamy tongues of uni. Don’t miss the face-melting, savory-sweet, Instagrammed-to-death husk meringue ($14), with its fine, ash-dusted hull giving way to a velvety, supercharged corn mousse.
It’s not easy to narrow down the best Mexican restaurants in America, so lucky are we to be saturated with the cooking of our South-of-the-Border neighbor in all its wonderful regional variety. But as any good mole- or taco-hound knows, some restaurants rise to the head of the pack, from the new-school, innovative cooking headed up by Rick Bayless at his Mexican restaurants in Chicago to the best burritos in San Francisco’s Mission District to out-of-the-way joints in the West and Southwest sure to inspire your next road trip to the best Mexican restaurants in L.A., including the killer Oaxacan cooking at Guelaguetza. Below, the best Mexican restaurants in America—ranked.