After a short-lived stint at the equally short-lived Andersonville spot Cantina 1910, Diana Dávila decided her next project would be entirely her own. From its moniker, which means “my namesake” in Spanish, to its confident, deeply personal takes on Mexican cooking, Mi Tocaya is pure Dávila. Sometimes this intimate approach leads to straightforward charmers like molten queso fundido and longaniza sausage. Occasionally, it heads in more oblique directions, like a dish called peanut butter y lengua. (In an homage to Dávila’s uncle, it melds tender beef tongue with a curry-like peanut salsa.) Every time, the cooking wins you over. From this cheery storefront, Dávila wants to redefine what Mexican cooking can be: smart yet unpretentious, distinctive, always exciting.
Don’t miss:The tacos ($4), with inventive combos like beer-can chicken with the cactus fruit xoconostle.