La Calaca Feliz Tim Spinner La Calaca Feliz

La Calaca Feliz

2321 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cuisine: Mexican
Reliably fun and fresh inventive Mexican cookery in Fairmount.
Openings: Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.


La Calaca Feliz Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant: The Fairmount outpost of a vibrant and solidly consistent local restaurant family, La Calaca Feliz is a neighborhood hang worth traveling to. Murals showcase the namesake skeletons and Day of the Dead iconography, while the brightly tiled bar sets a welcomingly festive tone. Beyond it is a main dining room; the backyard patio offers an urban oasis on warm days and nights.

Likes: Cocktails; atmosphere; fish tacos; bass.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: Chef-owner Tim Spinner’s inventive Mexican cookery honors flavor traditions while always edging outward. Tlayudas (corn flatbreads) are a house specialty, with changing toppings that might include baby artichokes, zucchini, cotija cheese and bacon. So, too, are the delicate ceviches, like the hiramasa with papaya habanero vinaigrette and lime sorbet. Tacos stuffed with plantain-crusted tilapia and avocado or fried chicken with creamy grits and braised kale entice, but don’t neglect the well-executed entrées like the black bass served over crab and poblano rice with asparagus and corn, or the grilled sirloin with chimichurri sauce and refried beans. Desserts are equally fun-loving, such as the “Domingo” brownie sundae with peanut caramel popcorn and churros ice cream. This being a cantina, drinks are tantamount. The wine and beer selection is relatively limited, but fresh fruit margaritas, house cocktails or a pick from the long list of tequilas (there are also several flights to sample) make apt choices.