Trading ‘The Keg’ on Alberni Street for Mexico City’s ‘Piedra Sal’

Restaurant Porn is a regular column of daydreams presented as a means to introduce Vancouver diners and designers to concepts, looks, and fully-formed ideas that they might draw an inkling of inspiration from. We do our best to pair the foreign rooms with local addresses so as to let everyone in on the fantasy.

(via) Yaletown’s Fayuca restaurant gave Vancouverites a new, highly idiosyncratic and creative take on Mexican fare when it opened last year, reminding us that were are countless other gears to the cuisine beyond tacos and margaritas. I’d like to see more, which is why this particular restaurant caught my covetous eye…

WHAT IT IS: Piedra Sal (“Salt Stone”), a second-storey restaurant and work of functioning art designed by VGZ Arquitectura. Its high ceilings are made loftier by countless vertically oriented wooden slats, lending dappled light to the scene whenever the sun shines. From the light fixtures to the ceilings, pretty much everything in the interior was custom designed. Chef José Manuel Baños designed the menu. He cut his teeth at places like Arzak and El Bulli, and toils at the critically acclaimed Pitiona restaurant in Oaxaca. Local foodies might remember that he cooked a few fantastic collaborative suppers at Homer St. Cafe & Bar back in 2016.

WHERE IT IS: On a prominent corner in Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City.

WHERE WE WISH IT WAS: The footprint and orientation of the restaurant reminds me of the old and forgettable Ki Modern Japanese restaurant location above Alberni Street next to Market by Jean Georges in the Shangri-La (Ki closed in December, 2012). I think it would fit there almost perfectly.

WHY WE WISH IT WAS THERE: The space is currently occupied by The Keg, one of three locations that the steakhouse chain occupies in the downtown core. Perhaps I’m wrong – this is all fantasy in any event – but I don’t think Vancouverites would miss it very much, especially if this beauty (and the talent within) suddenly supplanted it.

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