Taqueria Nueve returned from the dead—the upscale Mexican place closed in 2008 after an eight year run and spin-off plan gone wrong. You'd hardly know it from watching the crack crew working the open kitchen, which moves with relentless efficiency and consistently turns out note-perfect moles, conchita pibil and enchiladas. The menu is small, with about eight proteins for tacos ($3.50-4.25 and order at least three per person) and eight entrees.
The ceviche changes daily—sometimes in the middle of service—and our visit found an exquisite Hawaiian Tambo tuna with supple flesh and a bath of bright lime. A flaky empanada was stuffed with warmly spicy pork chorizo and got even better with touched with the ultra-nutty arbol sauce. Meats tend to contrast with their sauces in wonderful ways: chicken breast was so gently cooked that it seemed almost sous vide, then topped with a rich and cocoa-heavy mole, while the well-marbled hanger steak was lifted by a bright Oaxacan chile sauce.
Pro tip: If you ever hear this place is about to open something awesome and new—like, say, an al pastor taco truck parked on the patio during the summer—don't believe it. T9 led us on all summer as we called weekly for updates. There is no forgiveness.
GO: Taqueria Nueve, 727 SE Washington St., 954-1987, taquerianueve.com. 5-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9 pm Sunday. $$-$$$.