Nada on 6th Street is perhaps the most popular restaurant in Cincinnati. This chic Mexican restaurant (located next to the Aronoff and across from the Metropole) is run by the Boca Restaurant Group. When it opened approximately five years ago, Nada was quite the talk of the town. If we had reviewed it then, we would certainly have awarded Nada high marks. However, a lot of restaurants that start out awesome have trouble maintaining it (chefs or other key personnel move, ownership shifts focus, competition steels their best ideas, etc). With the Boca group now running much of 6th Street (Sotto and Boca being next door) is Nada now on the back burner or does it still deliver? We shall see...
Since we have visited this establishment for the up-teenth time, and I have had their traditional margarita before (very delicious and with plenty of tequila), I was feeling a bit adventurous on this particular visit. Instead sticking with my usual favorites, I wanted to step outside my comfort zone.
We started with the Chile-Mango Margarita (mango, pineapple, and el jimador blanco infused with chilies). If you are sensitive to spicy, this is not a drink for you! The mango and pineapple blend adds a nice balance to this surprisingly hot drink.
For an appetizer, we had the Queso Fundito - Cheese, chorizo, onions, and tortilla shells (that's right, shells--no chips) in one hot bowl. For a person who loathes onions, this appetizer was still very edible. There was a heaping pile of pickled onions in the dip as well as a freshly sliced onions on the top. The red sauce on the side gave it an extra kick of flavor, which helps when eating this glob of cheese and onions. I'm glad we tried it, but I would rather stick with the guac or regular queso.
Our first entree was the Crispy Pork Belly ("guacamole + pickled peppers and onions + guajillo diablo salsa + cilantro"). The pork belly was basically a thick chunk of high quality bacon. So, imagine eating bacon and guacamole... Awesome, right? For $1 extra, Nada adds an egg to one of the tacos. This created and excellent, if filling, breakfast-like taco.
We ordered a side of the Charred Green Beans. It was like eating a green french fry. The salt and char took a lot of the green out of the bean. If you are looking to cut out fries with your meal, we suggest you order these beauties. A lot of flavor with no veggie taste! You can't beat that!
Finally, our other entree was the Baja Fish Tacos (fried hake “baja style” + guacamole + lime cabbage + pico de gallo). My usual go-to is the Vegetarian Taco (marinated grilled portabella + black beans + guacamole + chihuahua cheese + poblano rice + pico de gallo). However, since the Baja Fish Taco is a popular dish, I simply had to have a taste. It was crispy, golden, and delicious. The toppings add a wonderful, fresh compliment to the entire dish. At first glance, the diner may think "Is this it?", but the three tacos are just enough to be filling.