Often described as chef Hugo Ortega's most ambitious restaurant to date, anyone who visits Xochi will recognize that it is unlike any other Mexican restaurant in Houston. Located on the ground floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Downtown, the menu at Xochi is decribed as Oaxacan cocina de autor, or chef-driven cuisine. Plates are bright and beautifully plated, bursting with color and attention to detail. The moles, made from complex recipes that require a deep understanding of the cuisine and its roots, are magnificent. In a bold move, the menu incorporates ingredients like chapulinas (grasshoppers) and other edible insects that are typical of Oaxacan cuisine, and it's pulled off with confidence. Ortega, a six-time James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef Southwest, currently wears the crown for 2017, and it shows.