When substance dependence is total, it's necessary to make a clean break -- whether that's putting down the bottle, tossing the crack pipe, or tossing the crack pipe for real this time. Kicking the burrito to the curb, Yxta Cocina Mexicana.
Bright and appointed with decor traditional (antique pottery), industrial (exposed air ducts), and tropical (glass-pineapple candle holders), Yxta's a defiantly burrito-free follow-up to El Arco Iris, whose "Jesse's Special Burrito" is the throbbing heart of the Highland Park standby. The menu's inspired by Jesse's travels to Mexico City, with classics like carnitas estilo michoacan (slow-cooked pork w/ guacamole) and camarones al ajillo (Mexican sweet shrimp w/ garlic sauce), as well as California-ized options like a tostada w/ sashimi-grade ahi and fried green onions, or "cebollitas", when they want to play down their inexperience. The bar's pouring 20+ premium silver, reposado, and anejo tequilas, creative cocktails like a horchata/vodka/Kahlua Mexican Russian, and tap/bottled beers, from Corona and hefe to the Mexicali-imported Cucapa Chupacabras Pale Ale, which shortly after being spotted, will cease to exist.
Yxta's also got a happy hour from 4 to 7 on weekdays with $6-and-under margs/beers/apps, which you can sneak out and try to sell in an alley before desperately resorting to sucking burrito.