On its drink menu, flanking the well-fonted restaurant title Isalita Cantina Mexicana, are two masks. No, they’re not reproductions from the poorly done and largely offensive Jack Black film Nacho Libre. These are legitimate luchadors, Mexican wrestlers who perform high-flying jumps and don colorful masks to represent their culture, not sad (or sick!) Hollywood excecutives. Now, I’m not saying Isalita is the culinary equivalent of a hard-working, scrappy luchador who fought his way from the bottom to bring honor to his family’s name. The food and décor is a bit too upscale and assured for that. But I am saying Isalita is the more well-off, classier uncle of that luchador, who also makes really great margaritas, has a wonderful taco Tuesday deal ($2 each!) and a nice selection of Mexican beers.
That’s not even to mention the truffle guacamole, the platos grandes. The frozen margaritas, the mojitos. And, most importantly for a restaurant-slash-bar in a college town like Ann Arbor, the atmosphere. Isalita reaches a nice inbetween, not too pretentious for a casual Friday dinner, but not too low key for a nice date. Go — the luchadors are waiting.
Check out the rest of 2017's Best of Ann Arbor here.