VENUE DETAILS

Rojo Mexican Grill

Price:

$$

Cuisine Type:

Mexican

Serves:

Lunch, Dinner

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

No

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Rating: One Star No Star No Star No Star

REVIEW

There are several reasons why Rojo Mexican Grill is worth a visit. I'm sorry to say that eating isn't near the top of the list.

Let's review the pluses, shall we? They start at the bar, which stocks the kind of impressive tequila inventory normally associated with hot spots bearing downtown addresses. More than 75 labels are sold in both single pours and three-shot flights as well as stirred into a bevy of cocktails, including margaritas. Make that jumbo margaritas. They're 16-ounce Big Gulp-ers, and they more than hit the spot.

The youthful service staff is another asset. They've got hustle, they know how to slap a smile on their face and they've obviously been trained. On one visit I found myself on the receiving end of an enthusiastic, if skin-deep, tequila tutorial, and darned if I wasn't upsold -- happily, I might add -- into a premium añejo.

Then there's the setting, a prime people-watching platform. With its timbered rafters and wide-open floor plan, it looks like a cross between a honky-tonk and the kind of barn that spunky thespians once regularly enlisted when spontaneously staging a show.

An especially cool touch are the hollow wire-mesh columns filled with rocks. They're a total ripoff of the famous Dominus Winery in Yountville, Calif. -- designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss firm behind the Walker Art Center's 2005 addition -- but, hey, if you're going to copy (the space is designed by Phoenix-based Fitch), it's best to do it from the best.

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