It makes no sense, but NYC’s coolest Mexican bar is in a basement in the heart of Chinatown. Descend the staircase and suddenly you’re in a space that looks like it might have been part of an ancient Mayan complex…but back when the Mayans weren’t ancient (woven reed ceilings, rough hewn stone murals, patterned tile floors). Latin dance music thumps and the bartenders mix drinks with pulque at their base, an agave liquor that’s fermented rather than distilled. It has a yogurt-tart taste and consistency and is used in half-a-dozen delicious cocktails (tequila and mescal also flow). At a certain point in the evening everyone hits the tiny dance floor.
- Pauline Frommer