Inventive tweaks to traditional Mexican cooking, combined with superb tequilas and terrific sunset views over the lagoon, make this distinctive restaurant a good value for the Hotel Zone. More than 150 brands of tequila, many never found north of the border, go into the restaurant’s mini-museum, which outlines the spirit’s history and production process; ask about the afternoon tequila tours, which add tequila samples and appetizers to a guided museum tour. The dining room, surrounding a Herradura still, extends out onto the deck over Nichupté Lagoon. The hearty, affordable starters (quesadillas filled with mushrooms and squash blossoms, sopes covered with marinated, slow-roasted shredded pork) could make a light meal. But the main dishes, such as a goat-cheese chile relleno in a puff pastry crust, tamarind shrimp, or the signature molcajetes (a rich pot meal) of beef, chicken or shrimp with grilled cheese, chorizo, beans, grilled cactus and avocado served with tortillas for making fajitas, are hard to resist. Mariachis play from 8 to 9 each night, and kids can dine from their own menu in a playroom.
- Christine Delsol