Hidden through an unassuming door above La Perla on Maiden Lane is El Nivel (meaning The Level), the brainchild of the awesome and legendary Tomas and Jesse Estes. A homely lounge, with large windows, huge draped curtains, quirky Mexican art (that naked lady is called Frida Kahlo). Take a seat at the grand wooden bar or get comfy at one of the tables. With its small and personal service it’s like you're in someone's house rather than a central London bar (reservations recommended).
The drinks menu is a short list of tequila and mezcal cocktails – choose your poison. We loved the La Poderosa made with Vida Mescal, lavender honey, lime juice, cardamom bitters and topped with sparkling wine, and the classic El Diablo with Ocho Blanco Tequila, fresh ginger syrup, crème de cassis and Fever Tree Ginger Ale. If you’re eager to learn, ask nicely and they will be more than happy to pour you a taster of what they’ve got on the shelves.
Hungry? We loved their hummus made with peanuts and the guacamole made with strawberries, mangos, jícama and topped with pomegranate was so damn good. Really hungry? Their pork belly chicharones are awesome with crackling and teriyaki, sambal and sesame seed sauce. Prices range from £3 to £21. Something for everyone.