Al-Fresco Tapas & Intimacy at Meza's Happy Hour"/>
The Hours: 4-7 pm every day and 10pm-1am Friday and Saturday.>"/>
The Place: Meza Latin Fare, 1515 14th Ave, Suite C, Seattle, WA, 98122
The Hours: 4-7 pm every day and 10pm-1am Friday and Saturday.
The Digs: Located only a couple streets above the hullabaloo of the Capital Hill Neighborhood's Pike-Pine bar scene, Meza offers shelter from the storm for patrons who can find the small, unassuming venue.
Tasteful pseudo-erotic art dots the walls, which are also lined with comfy benches. The tables are small and intimate, and while two-tops are separated, the wall-benches provide an air of communality. But with the way Meza runs (it was a one-man show when we first showed up past 5 pm), this is not a place to bring large groups.
My dining partner and I happened upon a rare sunny day in Seattle, and enjoyed their front patio. To our excitement, another dining duo, with their large black Labrador in tow, also opted for the outdoors.
The Deal: While Meza's 25 percent off all cocktails and tapas may lack the uber-cheap instant gratification that other neighboring establishments provide, the small plates (meaning the tapas, which range from $3.75 to $5.25) are surprisingly hearty, and most come with toasted baguette on the side. Tapenades, (blended spreads, costing $3.75) are made to order, and come in incarnations varying fromfruits blended th goat cheese and candied walnuts to savory versions, such as my favorite: fava beans crushed with onion, fresh basil, mint, goat cheese, and orange juice.
Generous reliance on fresh herbs is also apparent when it comes to Meza's drinks. My dining partner and I shared their Havana Mojito (with turbinado cane sugar and mango added to the classic drink's mix) as well as their Cava Margarita (which was refreshingly heavy on the lime), where they substituted agave syrup for the usual sugar, and topped the glass off with Cava Brut. Ringing up at $6.75 each, the drinks were a good deal for the quality we downed, and were a testament to the bartenders' attention to detail.
The Verdict: While our food and drinks took time, Meza offers an affordable variation for people looking for a small-scale, genuine atmosphere.