An explosion of color brightens this corner restaurant to near sunglasses-at-night proportions. With the multicolored checkered floor, wall of reflective Mexican tchotchkes, and Jumex-inspired lighting, there's no lack of folksy whimsy. To get in on the sunny disposition, follow the crowd of neighborhood office workers and gay men: Order up an extra-strong margarita and bask in the glow.
The fresh, uncomplicated fare does justice to its street-food roots. A starter of grilled corn on the cob, lightly covered with cheese and mayo, leads naturally into smaller plates of tacos, empanadas, tostadas, tamales or quesadillas. Hearty steak enchiladas go beyond Tex-Mex with the complex mole; for something different, try the pork chilaquiles, a hefty bowl of thick tortilla strips, roasted pork, and that spicy mole that's cooled by rich crema fresca. Extras include a gratis table-top salsa that's creamier than most and smooth, just-spicy guacamole that complements dishes like the crisped shrimp-stuffed flautas.