After pop-up events and a residency at Alpha Brewing Co., Mandy “Plantain Girl” Estrella has found a permanent home for her cooking at Mayo Ketchup in Lafayette Square. The counter-service restaurant focuses on the fare of Puerto Rico (hence the name, the beloved Puerto Rican condiment, served here in regular and spicy versions), the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Estrella's cooking showcases attention to detail (traditional Cuban bread, with lard in the dough, for the Cuban sandwich) and layered flavors (the pernil, fork-tender and slow-roasted pork seasoned with citrus, oregano and cumin over arroz con gandules). As you would expect from Estrella's nickname, plantains appear across the menu: appetizers, sides and garnishes with maduros or tostones, the planks of twice-fried green plantain for the jibarito sandwich.
Hours: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closes 5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday)
Last year's ranking: New this year