Where: El Rey (20th and Chestnut)
I’m coming back from my temporary hiatus to tell you about El Rey, which should already give you a sense of where I’m going with this… but in case it’s not clear, I love it. Go. Drop what you’re doing and GO.
The façade may give the impression that there’s a 50/50 chance of walking out with a case of Montezuma’s revenge, but any Los Angelean (such as myself) can tell you that, oftentimes, the sketchiest looking places tend to churn out the best food when it comes to Mexican cuisine.
By the time you cross the doors, you’ve probably realized that you’re in the clear as far as your GI tract is concerned and you’re already looking at the decor. Once side of the restaurant is covered in what your waitress will soon tell you is Mexican prison art, and the other half are Mexican movie posters. I remember thinking that the only Philadelphia restauranteur capable of such a scene is Steven Starr… and I was right.
I am already in love with the ambiance before I even put a morsel in my mouth… but as if that wasn’t enough, the food is unreal. Very fresh, very authentic, very satisfying. I’ve been there a few times in the past month or so, and I can say that you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. You could probably blindly pick something and be happy with your choice.
However, as far as cocktails go… give the mango margarita a shot. It’s one of the best things I’ve had this year.
So like I said, go now.