There is an unmistakable charm about this Latin-American restaurant. You can dine inside the rambling old house, but better to get a table on the portal-shaded courtyard where musicians gather to play every night. Shy waiters make guacamole tableside under the stars. There is no hard liquor at Los Mayas, but the agave wine margaritas don't seem to suffer from the lack of tequila. They pair perfectly with an appetizer of fried plaintain-stuffed enchiladas in mole or a garlicky grilled cactus paddle. Los Mayas' signature dish is the "Taste of Santa Fe" award-winning
chile en nogada
, a mild poblano pepper stuffed with a mesmerizing mixture of beef and pork, plantains, chopped peaches and pears, piñons and almonds. It is slathered with a creamy walnut and pomegranate sauce. It takes several bites for your brain to process all of the information in each bite, but when your head catches up with you, it tells you that you like it.
409 W. Water St., 986-9930.
Dinner nightly. $$