Jose Mendin has already made a name for himself through his work in beloved institutions such as Pubbelly Noodle Bar and Pubbelly Sushi. Now the Puerto Rican-born chef has created something more personal with La Placita. Along with his partners, Mendin has founded more than an eatery: It's a multisensory trip to Puerto Rico. Nothing about this place is subtle: You'll know you've arrived when you see the three-story Puerto Rican flag painted on the building by artist Hector Collazo Hernández. Inside, Goya bean cans serve as napkin holders, and a mural lists the restaurant's offerings. Everything is thoughtful, from the music to the soundtrack of coquís — Puerto Rico's famous singing frogs — chirping in the bathrooms. The menu reads like a trip to abuela's house: Plantain fritters known as alcapurrías ($12), the codfish pancake called bacalaito ($8), and a piquant escabeche de pulpo ($12) are all delicious, but the star of the show is the mofongo. Choose between classic plantain or trifongo (green plantain, yuca, and sweet plantain) for your base; then add shrimp, lobster, chicken, or ropa vieja as a protein (prices vary by base and topping). Any way you order it, it's Mendin's flavorful tribute to his homeland. Wash it all down with a cocktail menu created by Cocktail Cartel and you'll be swaying to the beat of the salsa streaming from the speakers — and from your heart. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.