None of the food at El Matador Mexican Deli comes from a can. Where it does come from is Puebla, Mexico—hometown of the chef, who has spent more than 50 years perfecting her family recipes. She uses the same methods of preparing meals today that she did when she first started cooking at age 12: making tortillas by hand, stuffing tamales with mole-covered chicken, and smothering chilaquiles in red or green sauce, depending on which color your eyes are. When it comes to sandwiches, guests can choose between classic tortas or the overstuffed cemita (a Puebla staple). The BYOB restaurant also serves beef, pork, and chicken taquitos for just 99 cents.
South America meets the Iberian Peninsula at Bohemia Restaurant, where meals of tapas and wine fuse Latin and European influences. Vivid yellow and red walls surround guests as they dine on ceviche flavored with a Peruvian red-pepper sauce, empanadas, or skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. Bartenders concoct sangria, mojitos, and caipirinhas, only adding to diners' confusion that they might actually be on the coast of Spain. Bohemia also offers wine by the glass or the bottle, with the list featuring different varietals such as garnacha, rioja, and cava.
Red-hot wood embers smolder at the heart of Barbacoa BBQ's roasting pit, infusing the tender chicken and beef specialties with rich, smoky flavors. In the kitchen, cooks borrow traditional Caribbean and American culinary techniques to slowly seal in the flavors of each specialty dish. Chicken may be ordered half or whole to share with tablemates, as can racks of Barbacoa ribs. The kitchen staff also sears pork chops and new york steaks with just as much careful attention as when they read bedtime stories to each rib.
Tropics Jamaican Restaurant serves a full day's worth of cuisine inspired by Caribbean traditions. The chefs awaken with the rising sun to cook breakfasts of hominy and salt mackerel that pair nicely with the pleasant bite of a ginger-infused tea. They stay busy throughout the day, switching gears at lunchtime to serve dishes of steamed red snapper and curried chicken. While the food is made with local ingredients, beverages such as Jamaican soda and chilled hot sauce are imported directly from the tropics.
At Taste It Again, servers cart out feasts of tropical offerings, from crispy, pan-fried whole snapper fish to tender morsels of spicy jerk chicken with red beans and rice. Like the U.N.’s biweekly potluck, Jamaican cuisine represents a mingling of diverse cultures with its dishes of curried goat and stewed oxtail, salted cod with ackee fruit, or potatoes with Dhalpuri roti. The savory eats pair with BYOB beverages or the kitchen's own ginger beer.
Green Basil's head chef fills the kitchen with recipes passed down from her Thai mother and grandmother, as well as familiar spices and sauces from her childhood in Thailand. Housemade peanut sauce complements chicken satay and chicken rama, and tamarind sauce envelops roasted duck and pineapple chicken. Green Basil also serves classic Thai dishes such as panang curry and pad thai in its dining room, which seats up to 30 guests or 30,000 miniature people piloting a human suit.