What to do on a warm summer evening in NY? I’m practically allergic to indoor dining on nights like these, so last week after the CoverGirl/Pat McGrath party, I decided to
crash Archana and Eaman’s date join my friends for dinner at La Esquina in SoHo. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was my first time eating in their outdoor area. La Esquina pretty much has three parts to it: the taqueria, which is a small, to-go lunch counter; their cafe, which encompasses their sidewalk seating and their indoor space that serves the full menu; and their downstairs brasserie and bar area in the basement, where they have even more extensive menu, a DJ, and a (sometimes pesky) reservations-only list.
It took us about a hour to get seated once we got there, but we dove right into the queso once we did. Layers of baked cheese with roasted pumpkin seeds, served with plaintain chips was pretty much heaven on earth.
I was crossing my fingers that it would set the standard for the rest of the meal. I can’t even remember the last time I had tacos, so I decided to go for some steak tacos this time (why not?). The anticipation for the main course wasn’t worth the results…the steak was bland at best.
Archana ordered their famed fish tacos, which she said she enjoyed more (“grilled, fresh and juicy—the perfect choice for a warm night”).
I have to say though, on my previous trips here, I really enjoyed their De la Casa salad with shredded chicken. The greens are so fresh and the chicken is flavorful and salted just right.
Kinda disappointing that the salad beat out the tacos at a Mexican food joint. Oh well. At least their queso made up for it a little.
btw Kenmare & Lafayette
New York, NY 10012
Meal: Lunch and dinner
Occasion: Once for a dinner with outdoor seating in the taqueria, once for a light lunch at the cafe
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: For the queso and salad, yes. For the tacos, sadly, no.
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