Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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There’s a new breed of Mexican restaurant taking over in D.C., but it’s neither Tex-Mex nor the upscale“mod-Mex” you might be used to. With the arrival of Bandolero, El Chucho, Pacifico Cantina, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, Tortilla Coast, and El Centro D.F., a new term is in order: “Hip-Mex” (or “Specs-Mex” for the joints with a disproportionate number of spectacle-wearing hipsters). This south-of-the-border cuisine is just as much about the scene as the salsa. Typical indicators of “Hip-Mex:” $12 margaritas (bonus points if they’re on tap); rooftop patios; DJ booths; designer tacos. Consider the beef tripe and foie gras variety at El Chucho or the grilled octopus and sweetbreads taco at the Taco Bamba pop-up at Black Jack. And hip doesn’t come cheap. At Bandolero, for example, two petite tacos will set you back $13, and guacamole costs the same.