If you're looking for an elegantly casual place to get into the condition Michael Hutchence achieved so elegantly, check out Meso Maya, soft-open Tuesday. A majestically up-leveled shrine to Mexican cuisine from owner Mike Karns (El Fenix) and chef Nico Sanches (Hibiscus), this William Baker-designed, three-room space is centered around a 20ft bar where wooden tequila-bottle sculptures mingle with 50+ real brands, some bottled so beautifully they actually look like sculptures. The menu's not finalized, but here are some tasty possibilities:
Apps: Supported by from-scratch tortillas, these include house takes on ceviche mixto, wood-roasted queso poblano, and Sopa de Lima, with chicken broth, avo, chayote, cilantro, Chihuahua, and tort strips -- all in all, a dish you wouldn't reform if you could.
Mains: Grab Buden Azteca de Pollo (layered tortillas w/ pulled chick, epazote, cilantro, queso, black beans, roasted tomatillo sauce), wood-roasted Carne Asada (w/ a sweet corn tamale, queso fresco, crema, roasted salsa), and tacos stuffed w/ pulled chicken, adobo brisket/ shrimp, braised pork shoulder, or the cut of steak Berlusconi's always chasing: skirt.
Drinks: Celebrate with Latin and South American wines, or celebrate harder with brazenly flavored margaritas (serrano/strawberry to avocado/pineapple) and all those tequilas, including Chinaco, Casa Noble Single Barrel, Casa Dragones Plata, and El Rey y Yo -- either named for the Beasties-sampled song by Chilean band Los Ángeles Negros, or that movie from back when bald white actors could still pretend to be Asian. And Egyptian!
Desserts include buttermilk crepes stuffed with caramelized plantains, while non-alcoholic bevvies include Mexican Coke and Monterrey-sourced, stone-, sand- & UV-ray-filtered Topo Chico mineral water -- an authentic recovery option for when your agave intake's been INXS.