9 East 18th Street,
Phone: (212) 533-3350
Say what you will about chain restaurants, but Rosa Mexicano defies the stereotypes. For starters, the guacamole, mashed up tableside, is inarguably good. Then there’s the addicting “Frozen Pomegranate Margarita.” But the thing that truly elevates this chain is the ceviche, especially their Hamachi Tacos and Rock Shrimp variation. The Hamachi Tacos are a hearty, rich take on the traditionally light dish – each hard shell taco is stuffed with diced yellowtail, smoky bacon, Serrano chilies, arugula, and truffle oil. Then, there’s the Rock Shrimp Ceviche mixed with mango, pineapple, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mint, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a chile pasilla-avocado sauce. Rosa Mexicano may be a chain, but the food here is exciting, fresh, and full of bold flavors thanks to consulting chef, Jonathan Waxman. It’s so good, it’s no wonder why they expanded into more than one location.