The Quick and Dirty: Yerba Buena

East Village Latin fare: creative, moderately priced food, an inventive, although admittedly confusing cocktail list and a well tended bar.

Vibe: The decor is one part swank, two parts festive, a perfect blend for both a Friday night dinner with friends or a still-in-the-awkward-stage date #3.

COLD: No reservations policy on the weekends and a small waiting area makes for a cramped stay.

HOT: The attentive and talented barkeeps will not only provide you with an endless wave of sorbet colored cocktails, they will also help decode the menu while you wait.

Must try: The ensalada of jicama, avocado, tomato and orange comes in an obsessively tangy citrus vinaigrette. Braised short ribs come on a bed of potato sticks- okay, they call them 'papas a la provenzal'- but they taste just like the ones that come out of a can and the salt helps cut through its syrupy sweet pomegranate glaze.

23 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(212) 529-2919


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