Choose carefully at this casual Dallas Arts District cantina and you can have a decent, affordable meal before or after taking in a performance or exhibit. Just don’t expect too much. The menu—modern Mexican tacos, bowls built around those same taco fillings, plus salads and cocktails—expands after 3 p.m. to include tapas and appetizers. Our lunch was a mixed bag. A bland chicken tinga taco desperately needed more sauce to deserve the name of that spicy dish. On the other hand, the pak bulgogi taco was nicely handled, the mildly spiced chunks of Korean barbecued chicken playing well with the slaw, pickled onion, cilantro, and sriracha aioli. The ups and downs continued through the meal. Diablo shrimp tacos showcased properly cooked shellfish in a garlic mojo sauce along with the usual taco toppings (sadly, though, the griddled corn tortillas had gone cold and stiff). The cowboy taco, served on a flour tortilla, featured strips of nicely smoky beef brisket but was marred by too much salt (it came with smoked-tomato relish, sweet peppers, and avocado cream). A light-bodied Mexican chocolate ice cream made for a refreshing finish. The kitchen is open late on weekends.
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A simple, casual, affordable Mexican spot expands Arts District options.