Hungry Planet Travel Guide
Destination: Tortilla Republic
History: Already a hit in Kauai, Hawaii, the slick Mexican establishment (opening tomorrow) keeps it fresh and (relatively) healthy with organic produce, homemade ingredients, and a strict lard embargo.
Coordinates: Robertson Boulevard/Melrose Avenue in what was formerly the provenance of Fat Fish.
Population: Co-owners Morten Kaag, John Halter, and Mina Azami (Taste), and executive chef Cathy Shyne.
Topography: Modern (backlit onyx bar) meets rustic (perforated tin lanterns, cantera fountain). An outdoor patio conjures south-of-the-border languor with equipale chairs and cascading succulents.
Agenda: Get the lay of the land with shareable appetizers (tuna crudo, tacos de jicama) while staying (de)hydrated with a cucumber/lavender margarita. Abide by local custom with enchiladas (mole, hibiscus flower) followed by the popular short rib chile verde. Chocolate cake topped with flan and churros make for excellent souvenirs.
Indigenous Illness: Stuffed-to-the-gills-itis
Tortilla Republic, 616 North Robertson Boulevard, between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood (310-657-9888 or tortillarepublic.com). The restaurant will hold a few tables for DC readers during opening weekend, March 30 and 31.
Photo: Courtesy of Tortilla Republic