With its flashy dining room, energetic music, wide food menu and diverse drink options, El Caliente is a good venue for festive group gatherings or small get-togethers among friends. In addition to Latin-inspired cocktails and mocktails there's a budget-friendly list of 23 different wines, all priced at Y3,300. Ample outdoor seating (when the weather permits) is an added bonus.
Tacos start off the menu, with popular variations like shrimp with mango salsa, fish with chipotle tartar sauce, beef birrata and menudo (tripe stew). You can choose from eight types of taco as well as Tex-Mex crowd pleasers like fajitas, burritos and quesadillas. You'll also find plenty of dishes less commonly seen in Tokyo - spicy chicken soup, mushroom fritters, Mexican cheese fondue, smoky grilled lamb chops among them.
El Caliente's beverage menu is as big a draw as the food. Adventurous drinkers can try "Latin Cocktails" like Blueberry Diablo and Coco Mango, multiple margarita variations, and more than a dozen tequilas and mezcals. There's a tempting selection of mocktails like Jamaica Sunrise, Pear Virgin Mule and Maron Tiramisu Con Leche, and nine types of tea, from roasted mate to iced assam.
The lunchtime menu, served until 3pm, is mostly familiar dishes - burritos, a taco rice bowl, mixed fajitas - plus one special Mexican dish of the day. The Taco Platter Special is probably the most entertaining of the lunch options. It features soft-shell crab fritters, chipotle chicken stew and chili con carne, plus bowls of guacamole, sour cream and other condiments with which you can assemble your own tacos. Extra tortillas are supplied at no charge.
El Caliente is produced by the Huge restaurant group as part of their modern Mexican collection, which also includes Mole Taqueria y Bar in Marunouchi and the rooftop bar Hacienda del Cielo in Daikanyama. Budget around Y3,500-4,000 for food and drink at dinnertime, or Y1,200-2,200 for lunch.