Young and Hungry

Crios Modern Mexican Restaurant Opens Tonight

The Hip-Mex takeover continues with the opening of Crios tonight at 5 p.m. The Dupont mod-Mex spot is a sister restaurant to Scion next door.

Owners Joanne and Julie Liu, whose parents own Jenny's Asian Fusion on the Southwest waterfront, say they wanted to open a neighborhood-focused place with reasonably priced comfort food and saw a void in the area for Mexican. "We thought that it would compliment the rest of P Street very well," Joanne says.

The menu is anything but traditional. You'll find spicy Dr. Pepper carnitas and turkey and sweet potato hash tacos as well as tamarind pork loin with apple-grazed red cabbage and a wild salmon with pumpkin seed pesto, roasted chayote squash, and grilled corn cakes. Even less authentic: "Diablo pasta" with habanero-infused cream sauce, chicken, and shrimp. Most entrees range from $15 to $20.

The drink menu will include seven or eight cocktails, plus a collection of craft draft beers like Scion. Joanne says one of the most popular cocktails from mock service was the $11 "Tequila Mockingbird" with Milagro Reposado, pineapple, basil, lime, ginger beer, and bitters. The house margarita with Milagro Silver, lime, agave, Patron Citronge, and a chipotle-lime salt-rimmed glass is $8, but for this week, it's half-off.

For now, Crios is only open for dinner, but expect brunch and lunch to start this fall.

Crios Modern Mexican, 2120 P St. NW; (202) 822-8800; criosmodmex.com

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