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lcl.jpgTucked away on an unremarkable block in Chelsea, Mexican restaurant and bar, Las Chicas Locas (attached to but not affiliated with the Four Points by Sheraton), has kept a fairly low profile since opening in 2008. Sure, the occasional celebrity wanders in now and again – Tiger Woods (pre-infidelity), Derek Jeter, Anthony Mackie (I saw the latter two there myself on separate occasions) – but this often dubbed “neighborhood hangout” is headed towards stardom of its own. A new partnership with two-star Michelin Chef Christopher Lee, currently of Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, brings a redesigned menu á la Chef Lee, featuring creative yet affordable tapas-style Mexican fare, and a well-placed kitchen staff, including Executive Chef Kathryn Busch, intent on serving quality meals consistently. Read on for the scoop and the Sherman’s Travel free drink offer

New menu standouts include spicy grilled prawn skewers in a chile garlic sauce ($9), a fried egg-topped carne asada quesadilla ($11), savory chicken enchiladas ($12), and a trio of tacos ($15), that pair the three fillers (pork, crispy fish, grilled steak) with interesting garnishes; pork with coleslaw and chipotle sour cream for instance. All the dishes are best shared, and a garlicky white-bean dip or a cheesy Mexican fundido (fondue with chorizo and roasted poblano peppers) can be ordered in addition to the house guacamole, also delicious, for snacking. The deserts – Mexican chocolate chili cake and caramel flan – are worth saving room for.


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Mixed by master mixologist Trevor Schneider, deemed one of the ten best mixologists in America by Absolut Vodka, drink favorites include the ever-popular margaritas (try the spicy pineapple), the Grapefruit Crush (vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, agave nectar, orange liqueur), and the Limonada Grande (bourbon, mint, lime juice, agave nectar). 


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The crowd varies depending on the night – expect the after-work set for weeknight happy hours (4–7pm with 2-for-1 Dos Equis drafts and pitchers of red or white sangria) and an international-infused mix on weekends, thanks to an overflow from the adjacent hotel. With its chic and cozy atmosphere, master drinks, and inspired, new menu, this surprisingly hip little hideaway is worth checking out. Experience Las Chicas Locas (LCL in short) for yourself and get one free margarita per person by mentioning Sherman’s Travel, now through August 27, then let us know what you think. (There’s also a street-side courtyard for alfresco drinks and dining while the summer weather lasts.) Las Chicas Locas, 160 West 25th Street (closer to Seventh Ave); 212/337-8301; www.lclny.com

Already tried the new and improved menu? Have a favorite cocktail? Let us know how you fared at LCL.

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