Ah, the Day of the Dead. Dia de los Muertos. El Nino. A strangely joyous, irresistibly spooky celebration that's cruelly only enjoyed once per year, in like, Mexico or wherever. Until now, that is, with Mike Isabella's Bandolero.
The gregarious culinarian's second effort (after Graffiato), Bandolero serves modern Mexican small plates in a "Day of the Dead-inspired retreat": two stories of raw copper bars, gothic metal gates, and so many animal skulls it makes Pet Cemetery look like Hotel for Dogs. If you'd like to feel dead (but for a few glorious moments, more alive than ever), then simply over-eat every taco on a menu highlighted by suckling pig/ habanero mustard, octopus/ adobo, and the "fish stick taco" with mahi mahi crusted in crushed tortilla chips & "sikil pak", a Mayan seed that may or may not be served in 2013... along with everything else. And if you'd prefer to just feel dead the next day, they've got specialty margaritas (on tap!) like the El Bandolero (blanco tequila/ Patron Citronage/ blood orange) and Zambada Garcia (silver tequila/ orange curacao/ mezcal float), plus non-rita 'tails like the mezcal/ agave/ bitters Jesus Malverde named for the "Saint of Drug Dealers", which explains why he was held in such incredibly high regard.
Still want more? Then feast on goodies like a queso fundito (w/ duck confit, maitake, manchego, and sunny egg) and papas/sesame-flavored short ribs, also what you may find yourself after offending everyone in Mexico with your cursory knowledge of Spanish.
Published: May 24, 2012 at 4:00am EDT
3241 M St. NW
Washington, D.C. , DC 20007
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