Frank Bruni visits a taqueria that fronts like it is Hernando's Hideaway, but is actually more the Honeycomb Hideout:
The adjacent kitchen produces food not only for this netherworld hacienda but also for an attractive street-level cafe with an entrance around the corner. It operates under the same ownership and is clearly marked La Esquina.
Shit, this restauranting thing is easy. Open a run-of-the-mill Mexican joint, and have a an offshoot in the basement with an unlisted number and the Gimp as maitre'd. I'd consider pushing this hideout in the basement idea a little further and having a VIP area in a fort made out of sofa cushions. Seriously, this whole thing feels like a deleted scene from the unreleased sequel to Josie and the Pussycats. Also, Bruni must have forgotten to charge his iPod:
But those servers demonstrated considerable knowledge about, and enthusiasm for, La Esquina's spectacular selection of about 100 tequilas. After a shot or two, the smartly chosen music - Nina Simone, Soul II Soul, Nouvelle Vague - seems to swell louder, but not so loud that eavesdropping becomes impossible.
Tequila and "Back to Life"? This sounds like an ideal restaurant for sex-havers.
Finally, a Gurgling Cod lapel pin for whomever can fill in the blank:
Studio 54/Cocaine is to Bianca Jagger as
La Esquina/Chipotle is to _________.