Zocalo is in the party district of midtown, so it's not surprising that its signature dishes are margaritas and guacamole. Today, I decided to stick with the chicken mole. That's one of my reference dishes---I order it the first time I go to a Mexican restaurant to see how it stacks up. The bad news is that one part of my chicken breast was burnt to the texture of balsa wood---someone wasn't paying attention. But to their credit, the mole sauce was excellent. It was well balanced with a strong chocolate note that didn't overpower the basic savoriness of the dish.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.