If I can't get reservations for Chicama, and I've already tried Patria one too many times, what's the next best thing for the pan-latin food fix with out-of-towners?
a little more downmarket, but I think Esperanto (9th & Ave C) has nice pan-latin food. It's simply done, but, most importantly, it works. Also I happen to have a little inside info on a recent tightening of the menu (I know the consultant), so now's the time to go. Try the new items: Sancocho, the chayote salad or the pork chop (may still be specials).
Definitely, go for Calle Ocho, on Columbus near 81st or 82nd. Service is erratic, but the food's great, and the mojitos are superb.