One of three restaurants owned and overseen by the highly respected Mexican chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, author of the "Encyclopedia Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy", Azul Condes (lke its sister restaurants—Azul Historico and Azul y Oro) features dishes with a Oaxacan influence. That means the food here is richly varied, as Oaxaca has a number of food-producing regions (mountains, valleys and the coastline) as well as 17 named indigenous tribes who have added their own influences to the cuisine. Azul hits many of the region's high spots, from the mole negro (smoky, rich, spicy, and completely drenching the chicken with which it is served) to guacamole con chapulines —crispy, roasted, and salted grasshoppers. A wood-grilled pork loin comes bathed in a delicate yet deeply flavorful Oaxacan yellow mole sauce that almost makes you want to lick the plate clean. The shrimp a la diabla , with its creamy sauce and spicy chipotle, shows the chef's expertise with seafood. Leave room for dessert and the outstanding egg nog tres leches cake. The casual, multi-level restaurant is sunny during lunch hours, warmly lit for dinner, and every table seems like it's set in just the right spot.