Why it’s this week’s Best Bite: I ventured over to Masa Azul while on a post-thunderstorm walk one evening, in the mood for a refreshing drink and something sweet to go with it. This was my second visit to Masa Azul, although my very first experience with head bartender Jenny Kessler’s cocktails was at Lula Cafe’s “Violent Hour” Halloween transformation last year. The delicious drink involved mezcal, apple cider, malbec, and serrano pepper, and I’ve jumped at the chance to try more of her imaginative combinations ever since. The Mexican Firing Squad was a nice balance of fruit, fizz, and smooth tequila flavor, and was ideal for sipping out on the sidewalk patio. The miniature round churros, the restaurant’s sole dessert offering, were pleasantly unique, with a soft center and plenty of citrus from the orange zest. I also liked how well the bittersweet chocolate sauce evened out the sugary fried dough. Together, they made a summery drink-dessert pairing that I’d go for again – although with so many interesting options, I doubt I could commit to the same cocktail twice.
The details: Masa Azul, 2901 W Diversey Ave., Chicago.