Restaurant: If you go to the farmer's markets on Airline Drive in Houston you better bring cash and a pocket Spanish dictionary. That's where you can find chef Hugo Ortega, who has mastery over every ingredient in the Mexican repertoire. His collection of Houston restaurants (Hugo's, Caracol, Xochi) are entrees into the wide world of authentic Mexican food, with creative twists applied here and there. In the land of Tex Mex and jumbo margaritas, this is the only place you'll find a menu full of grasshoppers, nopales, mole amarillo, and arbol peppers.
Chef Comp: Olajuwon. Complete mastery of the fundamentals, with a rare creative streak that takes the game to the next level.
Meal: Tacos are an inherently high-floor, low-ceiling food, but this is about as good as traditional tacos get: lamb barbacoa slow cooked in banana leaves (discarded in picture), simple fixings (avocado, beans, pickled peppers, onions), handmade tortillas, and fat drippings for dipping.
Food Comp: Andre Iguodala. Given his playing style and age, he'll never carry a team by himself, but damn he is still good at what he does.
Grade: Rotation. Delicious as expected. However, I wouldn't order this every time at Hugo's--too many other dishes compete for that honor.