Issue August 7, 2007

Aftertastes

MAYAN CAFÉ, 813 E. Market St., 556-0651, www.themayancafe.com. Former Mayan Gypsy chef Bruce Ucan is back with Mayan Café, and it ranks as one of the most original Mexican restaurants in town, featuring an innovative take on Mayan cuisine — the tropical fare of Mexico’s Yucatan and neighboring Guatemala. The eclectic menu features dishes like two-bite empanadas, Uxmal Salmon, Yucatec Pork Pibil and coconut flan for dessert. (Reviewed 6/27; Rating: 90)

JARFI’S @ MELLWOOD, 1860 Mellwood Ave., 259-9888. Jarfi’s Bistro is a well-traveled mainstay at the Kentucky Center downtown; and now Jarfi’s @ Mellwood (inside the Mellwood Arts Center) offers a simpler version of owner Jeff Jarfi’s culinary imagination. The casual lunch spot offers up salads, wraps, sandwiches and more, and plans to open for dinner are in the works. (Reviewed 7/11; Rating: N/A)

TACO TICO, 5925 Terry Rd., 449-9888. The taco shop triumphantly returns to Louisville with an affordable variety of Mexican menu mainstays and a friendly, welcoming attitude. 84-cent tacos are served with juicy, finely minced meat and fresh ingredients, available with four kinds of salsa. Look for more Louisville properties soon. (Reviewed 7/18; Rating: N/A)

EL ZARAPE, 4637 Dixie Hwy., 435-1366. The cash-only, family-operated El Zarape serves authentic, Puebla-style tacos with generous portions of meat, onion and cilantro. Larger platters include soup loaded with crab, mussels and fish and boneless chicken breast with a flavorful red-chile rub. (Reviewed 7/18; Rating: N/A)

ONION RESTAURANT AND TEA HOUSE, 4211 Charlestown Rd., New Albany, (812) 981-0188. Part of the New Albany restaurant renaissance, this eatery is the perfect place for diverse tastes. Multiple menus offer fresh, flavorful entrees of Japanese, Chinese and American cuisine with no hibachi tables or knife-juggling chefs in sight. (Reviewed 7/25; Rating: N/A)

TRAN JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE AND SUSHI, 4317 Charlestown Rd., New Albany, (812) 941-0200. A traditional Japanese steakhouse, Tran offers an affordable variety of appetizers, entrees and Bento Boxes. Flavors work together to enhance the hot, fresh entrees — just watch out for the 2-inch, giant sushi rolls. (Reviewed 7/25; Rating: N/A)

610 MAGNOLIA, 610 Magnolia Ave., 636-0783, www.610magnolia.com. Chef Edward Lee’s recent Palindrome masterpiece, featuring eight courses with ingredients in entrees repeating themselves in desserts, cemented its status as Louisville’s best restaurant. These special dinners are worth the price tag; sign up on the e-mail list to catch them. (Reviewed 8/1; Rating: 99)