Dining Out: Where Were Eating: Xochitl
After the February departure of chef Dionicio Jimenez, owners Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov didn’t just hire a new chef (Lucio Palazzo); they overhauled the interior and the menu. A casual cantina vibe reigns — adios, white tablecloths; holà, cheery waiters clad in soccer jerseys — and the food, now at a lower price point, is as good as ever, though it could arrive at the table faster. Crackly chicharrones are just right dipped in fiery salsa verde; a cool jicama-watermelon salad tempered by avocado counteracts any spice. Velvety scallop ceviche in a jalapeño-cucumber broth and the nutty mole-slathered pork-cheek tacos are both excellent. Save room for the piping-hot churros and their addictive sugar-and-cinnamon crunch.