I normally don't do restaurant reviews. However, since I previously posted about chilaquiles, and on various occasions on local murals, I want to make an exception for this place, which combines the two, bringing both to a higher level.
Incidentally, this wonderful breakfast place is just a few minutes from where I live, located on Avenida Revolución 23, just where Avenida Jalisco forks off of it. The colonia is technically Tacubaya, but it's right where it meets with Escandón, San Miguel Chapultepec, and la Condesa. It's hard to miss with its colorful decorations and a multitude of visual attractions catching your eye.
The place is anything but a hot insider tip. Especially on Saturdays and Sundays it's a good idea to come early (they open at 9:00 a.m.) as it is quite popular, not only among visitors. In fact, there is a bit of a cult following to this hip eatery. Still it's worth to come on weekends, because that's when they serve their specials, which could be a spicy mango salsa, or other such fantastic tastes sending your taste-buds reeling. On a weekday such as this they “only” served the standard chilaquiles, which however are still deliciously made.
But it's not only the lovely smells and tastes that makes ChilaKiller's an experience. It also offers many smaller to larger delights for the eyes. The murals and decorations might be considered tacky in other contexts, here they are seen as a good mix of Mexican cultural icons, including the Lucha Libre, Mariachis, Day of the Dead, Frida Kahlo, Jesus Malverde, the Lady of Guadelupe, as well as imagery from many other areas.
One of the walls in the left part of the restaurant depicts a large ear of corn, where a few kernels hold human embryos. A bird sitting on top of the corn is eating one, it probably had picked out from one of the empty kernels. (Don't worry about ruining your appetite, the image is so small you'll have to look carefully just to notice.) Next to it, a woman whose face is hidden behind a framed picture of a bird, is massaging her abdomen. Further to the right is the frame of another woman's face. She's wearing a beautiful face-paint in the style of the Day of the Dead, when people paint themselves to look like a flowery skull. Her hair is almost entirely made of flowers.
Across from this wall, and completely unrelated, is a painting of Xibalba, the Mayan tree of life (precisely life and death, as the two go hand in hand). On its branches plants grow out of skull shaped pots, and various animals with famous people's faces populate the tree. Some of them make sense, such as Edgar Alan Poe in form of a raven. Steve Jobs as a snake is also understandable, having to do something with the apple... However, why Salvador Dali makes an appearance as a chameleon, or Jim Morrison as a lizard, is beyond me.
The wall on the right side of the restaurant features a huge image of two alleged lovers: El Santo, probably the most legendary Mexican wrestler that has ever lived, and Maria Félix, a famous actress from the golden age of Mexican cinema. They seem to make a lovely couple, don't they? It's good to know that Maria Félix was on the top of her carrier in the 1940s and 50s, whereas El Santo was most famous in the 70's and 80's. So she could be his mother... still, her vampire look is quite appealing. What I also found most noteworthy, are the metallic hearts and chili peppers flying all around them.
You can spend a lot of time at ChilaKiller's just looking around. Some items are so small they are easily overlooked. Even the bathroom is worth a few pictures. Outside a winged Frida Kahlo mermaid and a pair of male and female skeletons announce the unisex nature of the washroom. Inside, an array of Mexica weaponry are painted around a lucha mask.
Finally, as I was just leaving, who do I spot on the wall among the stickers? That's right, our good friend from so many murals I wrote about: the fat face based on the Tuxtla Statuette. And he's even wearing Mickey Mouse ears! With this, I feel pleased to have provided such a thorough introduction of ChilaKillers.