Best Place to Be a Regular - 2007
There are places around town where one visit is enough. One meal off the menu and you know everything there is to know about the place. But there are other restaurants, other menus, that reveal themselves only over time. Chama is one of those restaurants, and the menu, designed by chef Sean Yontz, is one of those menus. On the surface, it seems so simple: a Meximerican three-a-day with tacos, burritos, piloncillo-spiked French toast and entrees heavy on the chiles. But after a few visits, you begin to see the careful balance of Mexican, New Mexican and nouvelle Latino influences at play here. Somewhere around meal six, you understand that with its deep tequila and mezcal list, friendly service and multi-layered menu, Chama is a truly excellent restaurant hidden in the body of a merely mediocre one. And after that? By the time you've been to Chama half a dozen times, you qualify as a restaurant regular -- and there's no question that friends of this house are treated like best friends indeed.