The lights, colors, and atmosphere of downtown El Paso are the perfect vehicle for the full flavors of accomplished restaurant Ámbar, in the historic and very nicely updated Plaza Hotel. The ambiance is comfortable, and chef Lawrence Acosta’s menu is filled with well-executed Mexican classics. Given that the restaurant boasts the largest agave spirits collection in the country, you could start your evening with flight of mezcals (or just a potent Patrón tequila margarita) alongside smashed-avocado guacamole rich with charred tomatillos, queso cotijo, and pumpkin seeds. The crisp ancho-and-lime glazed brussels sprouts make another nice nibble; so do the chile pasilla–lime marinated grilled artichokes. For the main event, Chilean sea bass al pastor (with mezcal pineapple salsa and yuca puree) is both subtle and dynamic. And sweet-savory duck in mole poblano one-ups the standard chicken version. Finish with heady rumchata tres leches cake under a froth of Chantilly cream topped with a strawberry compote. In between courses, enjoy excellent people watching—it’s a two-nation vacation.