Shaun Doty, arguably one of the city's best chefs, is making a cottage industry out of consulting at other people's restaurants. He is currently acting as consulting chef at the Original El Taco, Fifth Group's new Tex-Mex restaurant in Virginia-Highland (although the restaurant's website lists him as executive chef), and there's talk of other consulting gigs in the works. The Original El Taco (roughly translated to "The Original The Taco") has been an instant hit – there's a wait for tables almost any time of the night on any night of the week. The crowds bring a party atmosphere, ramped up with large, well-made margaritas. You can see Doty's touch on the menu of tacos, "Mexican pizzas" and Tex-Mex entrees: a pork belly taco here, a fried egg atop a stack of tortillas and chili there. But can you taste his influence?
Price: $$ ($10-$20)