Modern Mexican, Amazing Guacamole

Outdoor seating is lovely in this Penn Quarter restaurant, but inside is even better. Warm-hued carpet, swanky colored glass lights, and a brightly tiled bar make the atmosphere vibrant, but tastefully so. Even the plates are orange or dark glossy blue and come in fun geometric shapes.  Throughout the restaurant are guacamole carts, each complete with avocadoes and bowls of fresh condiments.

If you like guacamole, you've come to the right place. The waiter adds tomatoes, diced jalapenos, cilantro, and chopped onions to a rough black bowl, and mashes in fresh avocadoes to make the most sublime dip north of the border. Served with warm corn tortillas, tortilla chips, and two types of salsa, it's worth the $12 for two servings. It's hard to follow such a showstopper, but there are nice specials such as grilled salmon over black beans with zucchini, roasted corn, and tropical fruits.  Much of the regular menu is sophisticated Mexican cuisine—quesadillas are of course always available, and you can always order a side of fried plantains or a glass of mango juice if you're still hungry.