An open kitchen is tricky to pull off. Done just for show, it can make for a distracting, noisy, even smelly piece of dinner theater you’d rather not see. But Nuestra Cocina works its dining space around the tiled open cooking area in a way that feels airy and inclusive—living up to its moniker, “Our Kitchen.” The same easy sense of flow runs through the whole meal, from the bar’s fruity margaritas to the antojitos —Mexican-style tapas like ceviche of the day, spicy pork tacos and queso fundido with forest mushrooms, which can easily add up to a meal—and through to the rich, savory main dishes (if chipotle beef tips are on offer, snag them) and desserts (the crepes are always good, whatever the filling). But better start that flow early: The Seven Corners neighbors throng to “their kitchen,” which doesn’t take reservations. (IG)
Signature Dishes: Cochinito pibil , a tender hunk of braised pork in a shallow sea of black beans; camarones al mojo de ajo , garlicky prawns with plantains.
Standouts: Our tablemates found the ginger-pomegranate margarita good enough for seconds—and thirds.
Regrets: Having to finish the sangría pitcher solo.