06. La Condesa | The Restaurant Guide 2012

06. La Condesa | The Restaurant Guide 2012

Monday, August 6th, 2012

By Lawrence Karol

Great food and great design don’t always go hand in hand—but they should. From a small pizza joint in New York City to a massive art-infused former factory in Sydney, these amazing spaces will sate your appetite for both wonderfully-prepared dishes and creative interiors.

Austin, TX

Much of the inspiration for the interior of Austin’s La Condesa came from the fashionable, artistic Mexico City neighborhood of the same name. “It’s not the typical design language you see in Texas,” says architect, Michael Hsu. “We wanted it to be decidedly modern and urban.”

A huge collage by the Sodalitas Art Group references the wall murals and billboards of Mexico. Utilitarian lighting fixtures mix with others that are highly decorated. The contrast in materials continues in the cozy bar area where there’s a wall composed of concrete masonry blocks similar to those found in many border towns The overall effect is playful, yet sophisticated—just like that of a restaurant that might fit right in among the lively streets of its namesake.

FOOD: Contemporary Mexican cuisine with traditional regional influences

DON'T MISS DISH: Michael Hsu praises the mole by chef Rene Ortiz as, “Among the best no matter where you are. On top of duck it's even more special.” He recommends the Pato con Mole Negro: Crescent duck breast and confit leg, three-day mole, toasted sesame seeds, rice, crema, and tortillas.

RATING:   

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SUPER OFFICIAL RATING SYSTEM

   Design nirvana.
   Did someone say ‘wow’?
   Pretty damn cool.
   Hmm...interesting.
   Calling for a redesign.
Knock it down and start again.

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