First Bite: Mayahuel


I enjoyed a festive evening recently at Mayahuel, downtown’s new upscale Mexican restaurant (across the street from Ella Dining Room & Bar). The place was packed, and the energy was high (and the noise level higher) – but we relished a dazzling watermelon margarita, sprinkled with chili pepper; and gobbled up the kitchen’s “Bocaditos de México,” a plate of nibbles which included nopales (stewed pads of the prickly pear cactus), tinga de pollo (spicy shredded chicken) and chile poblano. But the dazzler of the evening was the kitchen’s complex, sweet-rich Mole Poblano con Pollo, a traditional dish of braised chicken swathed in a chocolate- and nut-embellished, intensely-flavored sauce (Mayahuel’s mole sauce has 32 ingredients).