After years of slogging through gringo-fied menus of ersatz "Mexican" eats -- complete with greasy ground beef, waxy cheese sauces, and bottled salsas -- our region is now awash with casually upscale restaurants that combine the best in modern American cooking with the authentic flavors of the traditional Mexican cocina
. At the crest of the wave you'll find Momocho, where chef/owner Eric Williams' small menu bursts with creative fare -- like the lamb chops, rubbed with a tangy red chile-paste adobo
and lightly stroked with jalapeño-mustard crema
. As a backdrop to the gustatory sizzle, the historic Ohio City space, done up in a Día de los Muertos-style decor of demon masks and grinning skulls, adds a hip, edgy vibe. The result is a restaurant so good, it's downright scary.