• Sam Worley
  • Don’t judge a pork chop by its cover.

Mezcalina inhabits a neighborhood called something like “Lakeshore East,” or “Near Eastside,” but it may as well be East Bermuda Triangle—enter the address on Google Maps and you’ll be pointed straight at an undifferentiated gray block. I didn’t realize till I got there that that block was actually a building. (Actually, you know what? Maybe it’s not. I was inside it and I have no idea). Approach from Randolph Street and you’ll find yourself wandering through a plaza, getting onto some staircase for lack of anything else to do, descending four floors, and ending up, to your surprise, at Mezcalina. Here it is! Right across the street is an extremely nice-looking park. Who knew that was there?

This process is fun because it’s so weird—like wandering through a developer’s scale-model mock-up of a planned community. I remained hopeful; I’d recently visited a lovely French restaurant located somewhere else inside the gray block. Would two make a trend? Could this artificial, blandly wealthy cityscape foster an unusually good restaurant scene?