Take One of our mission to explore the Mexican-inspired offerings of Melbourne:  Maya tequila bar and grill.  On Friday, I was fresh from a flight in from Perth the night before, and we decided to stay in South Yarra for the evening and catch up over some tequila and Mexican at Maya.

When we arrived, the bar was hopping with great lounge music and lots of people.  Colorful paintings adorned the wall and the crowd seemed younger and cooler than most fo the usual 60+ S. Yarra population…

We tried the Rio Grande tequila cocktail (some combination of tequila, apple, cinnamon and egg whites), chicken quesadillas, chorizo meatballs, cilantro grilled corn, and chicken tacos.  They brought us chips and salsa and we eagerly dug in… and revolted.  Chips were super stale and chewy, but the salsa was decent and I reverted to eating it with a fork just to get my vitamin C kick from the tasty tomatoes.  When the food arrived in stages (again, a small plates place) it was decent, but not your typical Mexican and nothing stellar.  The Rio Grandes, however, were out of this world (and cost us more than the food when we got the final bill).  As the evening progressed we managed to have a lovely time, despite the top-20s 1980s hits that took over the juke box and replaced the down-tempo tasteful jazz-latin-electronic fuse music that had been playing when we entered.

Conclusion: Go for a tequila drink (but just one so as to not break the bank) and early on to avoid 80s flashbacks.  As for the attempt to find fine Mexican cuisine in Melbourne, 1 down; 5 to go.

Food:  B-;  Atmosphere:  A (before 10pm), B (after 10pm);  Drinks:  A+