Known for its quick, casual Mexican format and self-serve salsa bar, Felipe's Taqueria has upped its game lately at the bar, which serves Mexican-inspired craft cocktails. Last week, the taqueria took things to another level by opening Tiki Tolteca, a separate tiki bar and tapas-style restaurant on the second floor of its French Quarter location (301 N. Peters St., 504-267-4406; www.felipesneworleans.com).
The new bar serves tiki drinks made with regional liquors like tequilas, mezcal, pisco and cachaca, in addition to more traditional rum recipes, and the kitchen serves small plates blending Peruvian, Polynesian, Mexican and Central American flavors. Sample dishes include sweet corn tamale cakes with salsa verde; Mexican crema picante and avocado; tostones with pork and habanero mango jelly; braised oxtail with red wine and cinnamon gravy; Brazilian-style chocolates called brigadeiros; and rumaki, a Polynesian restaurant standard of water chestnuts and chicken livers wrapped in bacon.
Tiki Tolteca has a limited and somewhat loose schedule, opening at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as occasional Fridays.
On June 11, Tiki Tolteca hosts a benefit event for the New Orleans-based Museum of the American Cocktail featuring the history of the mai tai and samples of that tiki standard.