La Mejikãna serves Una Hamburguesa Chida, which translates as “an awesome burger.” That it is. A glossy, brioche-soft bun holds a thick patty of beef and a thinner one of spicy chorizo as well as an over-easy egg and a melty slice of Chihuahua cheese. It barely wants to come together, but come together it does.
You clutch this behemoth and never want to put it down, and as you bite in, you taste more: chunky guacamole, threads of caramelized onion, a stealthy punch of chipotle. It arrives with a spiralized fried potato — a spud Slinky — and if you order a lime-tart michelada or a cucumber margarita, you’ll be very happy indeed.
Robert Cardenas and Julio Moreno’s new venture — dark and narrow with color-drenched murals of Mexican women and the CTA Pink Line — has a vibe that puts it nowhere else but Pilsen in 2019. With a playlist that goes heavy on Spanish rock urbano and a bar that runs the length of the room, it comes off as both your new drinking spot and your go-to gastro-diner.
But before you explore the ceviche or grilled prawns, you should lean in to the overstuffed blue corn taco with skirt steak carne asada and cilantro chimichurri or the acid-bright al pastor with pork shoulder, habanero, and chunks of grilled pineapple. The fried fish pescadito could use a higher fish-to-batter ratio, but that didn’t stop me from eating every bite.