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Grazing: A first look at Luna Nueva and a visit to Repast

A new restaurant offers an inconsistent taste of Mexico City

“I am from India,” the man who owns Luna Nueva (1150-B Euclid Ave., 404-521-3555), a new Mexican restaurant in Little Five Points, announced by way of introducing himself. “And my wife is from Iowa.” He whipped out his iPhone and showed us her picture.

He explained that the two of them were in Mexico City when they dined at a very popular restaurant that, it turned out, had lost its lease. “So,” he said, “I asked the chef, ‘Why don’t you come back to America with us?’” The chef, Jorge Villarreal, had worked in the States before, and accepted the offer.

Luna Nueva would be a strange place even without its odd multicultural management. It’s in the original space occupied by La Fonda and was Miro’s Garden after that. The latter turned La Fonda’s sunny decor gloomy with dark paint and very low lighting, and little has changed in that respect. The space makes me sad, anyway, because it features a fountain by Christine Sibley, the late artist who was my neighbor for several years.