Maya del Sol | Oak Park/River Forest | Mexican/Southwestern, Latin American, Music venue | Restaurant
Pan-Latin food and cocktails from chef Ruben Beltran, a veteran of Frontera Grill.

Our Review

In the beginning there was Bayless, who did beget . . . well, it’s a long story, one chapter of which is being written at Oak Park's Maya del Sol, where Frontera alum Ruben Beltran serves pan-Latin offerings in a space balancing a laid-back low-lit dining room and a more extroverted bar area festooned with flat-screen TVs. Like his mentor, Beltran employs fresh, high-quality ingredients in dishes finely shaded with south-of the-border spicing. Flavors in a tuna ceviche, one of three, popped cleanly and were satisfyingly simple. Our salmon was moist, almost sashimi-like at the center, and seasoned with restraint to let its naturally beautiful taste come to the surface. Nachos are quirkily but successfully crowned with pot roast braised in honey and cider vinegar. Moist and savory, cochinita pibil, the Yucatecan dish of achiote-marinated pork, is perked up by the traditional accompaniments: red pickled onion, house-made habanero salsa, and handmade tortillas. Mojitos, caipirinhas, and pisco sours are, like the food, well-balanced and pleasingly proportioned. Live music Fridays.

David Hammond

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