La Biznaga — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
Méxican Fusion, Wine • $$$-$$$$ • (U)
Named after a large, barrel-shaped cactus native to northwest México, La Biznaga is a favorite of long-time visitors and affluent locals, drawn by its nueva mestiza sensibility, which ingeniously blends little-used local ingredients with more familiar ones, and the agreeable ambiance, where patrons dine in the rustic courtyard of a colonial mansion, surrounded by paintings and art installations, multiform music softly playing in the background. Topping it all off are the friendly, professional waiters and the small but respectable wine list. The retractable tarp above the courtyard makes this a good place to retreat to when the summer rains inevitably come.
- García Vigil 512, half-block north of Allende; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun 2 - 8 p.m.; MX$100 - 250; Most major credit cards; phone 951-516-1800.