A while back Wilonsky told you that El Fenix honcho Mike Karns and the Firebird Restaurant Group LLC were gobbling up the old Luna's Tortilla factory. Conventional wisdom was that another El Fenix outpost would slide into the spot, but it turns out Karns has another concept in mind for the space located in what was once Little Mexico: a second Meso Maya.
At the original in Preston Hollow, chef Nico Sanchez has been experimenting with a number of off-menu specials. Those rib and lamb dishes weren't riffs to keep diners from getting bored, though; they were test dishes for the second Meso Maya, which will open in the Luna space sometime next year. Sanchez told me this week that the space is about 50 percent complete. The balconies and other historic details of the building promise to make for an interesting space.
What else will be on the menu? Sanchez told me the new Meso Maya will feature more authentic and robust Mexican cooking. He's hoping the new digs will help him draw diners ready to experiment well past beans and rice. Think grilled lamb, duck mole, huitlacoche and squash blossoms. I bet there will be some pretty good corn tortillas and salsas to snack on, too.