Atla is a big-deal Mexican restaurant just by the nature of its name. The New York transplant—operated by the team behind DamianCosme, and Pujol—recently found its first West Coast home in Venice. Atla may not be reinventing the wheel but they do the classics thoughtfully, like an open-face al pastor gringa with sweet pineapple butter that drips down your forearm. The casual, minimalist-chic space is flooded with people in linen pants eating grilled fish and bowls of chicken soup. But casual certainly doesn't mean cheap. If you're prepared to spend several hundred dollars at an all-day restaurant that bills itself as the relaxed member of a fancy restaurant group's family, then Atla is perfect for a leisurely lunch or dinner and a few drinks. (You could always use it for a special occasion sans blazer, too.) A first hyped-up visit ultimately delivered. We'll be back for more before writing a full review. 

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