Because a restaurant’s décor is sometimes much more memorable than its food, we’ve decided to open, here on Grub Street, a virtual museum of restaurant art that will range from the genuinely disturbing to the lovably tacky to the totally ugly. Our first piece is one we’ve long admired, often in double vision, on the wall of Lower East Side standby El Sombrero: It depicts what looks to be carnival revelers (or krump dancers?) on a town square — we’ll never know for sure, since the owners didn’t want to uncover its mysteries when we called. We do know this much (because we’ve asked many times while under the influence of the place’s potent “crackaritas”): It’s not for sale. Of course, your pockets may be deeper than ours, and maybe you’d be willing to fund the necessary restoration after years of sizzling fajita smoke. We’d be saddened if the painting was snatched up next time we strolled in for a chimichanga, but we suppose it would be better than a birthday reveler accidentally putting an elbow through it, à la Steve Wynn. If you can think of similarly captivating restaurant art, leave your suggestions in the comments.
The Converse sneakers really do it. Photo: Melissa Hom