where you need to eat right now

Eating at Atla is like being thrown into a first date place in a 00s romcom. It's sterile, overly bright and airy and takes design cues from airport lounges and private doctor's clinics rather than cosy neighborhood eateries. It's what the world looked like before the last financial crises that had us hunger for softer and warmer, more comforting environments. And in the immortal words of Whitney Houston, "it's not right, but it's OK", for now, because the food — is spot on and cheap. Atla is Mexican super chef Enrique Olvera's second New York restaurant, its sibling Cosme has done very well, and this feels like an attempt of commoditizing the concept of modern New York Mexican and creating a chain. Soon there will be Atla all over the place. But here's a secret, all chains need to have a successful beginning and Atla will for the moment do few mistakes in order to prove its potential. The overproof margaritas are a must.