Hours: Sun.-Thu. 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5:30-11 p.m.
At this upscale downtown Berkeley spot, Chef Matt Gandin showcases Mexican flavors using local ingredients in a menu that changes from season to season. While large platos fuertes — wood-grilled meat dishes that serve as an entire meal for two or three — are available, most of the menu consists of shareable small plates. The masa-based items (enchiladas, quesadillas, and such) can be very good, especially if a mole sauce is involved. But the real stars are the simplest things: grilled corn slathered in queso fresco and chipotle aioli, for example, or Gandin’s minimalist (but to-die-for) guacamole. Meanwhile, the setting can’t be topped: a beautifully remodeled industrial space and a gorgeous covered back patio that makes for one of the best al fresco dining experiences in Berkeley.
Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards
Organic produce and sustainably-raised meat and seafood used when possible.