Ray Garcia has been hinting for years that he's capable of greatness, and at Broken Spanish he lives up to that promise. Located in the former Rivera space downtown, Broken Spanish gives the chef the creative freedom to explore the place where his Mexican heritage and his fine-dining background meet. His menu offers plenty of comfort food that's exciting as well as soothing: You can have tamales stuffed with lamb neck, or with a delightful mix of favas, peas and Swiss chard. There are touches of true modernism, too, such as a beautiful jumble of snap peas, sea beans, black sesame and creamy requesón cheese. Garcia is playing with an inventiveness that feels natural, and he puts deliciousness first. Broken Spanish is a heartening step forward for a chef who was obviously meant to be at the forefront of the modern Mexican food revolution.

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