If you read our review of the cafe and taqueria, you know that we're fans of the food at La Esquina. It's easy to like fresh Mexican favorites in a casual environment. But what happens when you put a guy with a clipboard and some very dangerous stairs in between us and dinner? In most cases, nothing good. We're not big fans of velvet ropes in restaurants. But La Esquina manages to get a pass on that, mostly because once we make our way past the doorman, through the kitchen, and into the dungeon, a race to the bottom of a tequila bottle instantly begins. Yes, we like the food here just as much as La Esquina on the street, but we love the brasserie because it makes us want to drink.
One of our all time favorite La Esquina dinners was the result of an unannounced Tuesday night visit. Smooth talking and a small diversion (smoke bomb) got our group of three dudes down without a reservation, and what ensued was a great meal at the chef's table and a valiant attempt to drink Mexico into another agave shortage. Those are the nights that make us love this place. Even despite the weekday fashionistas and weekend crowds, La Esquina can still play host to the next great time you can't remember.
A basic empanada, but the chorizo is spicy and delicious. A simple favorite of ours.
A tasty, mushroomy quesadilla with corn and Mexican truffle. This is earthy and good, but different than most quesadillas you've probably come across.
Our favorite of the tostadas on the menu (three per order), and a must have. The cool crab meat is piled high on a half-dollar sized tostada with mango and spicy mayo. It's one big bite of goodness.
Chicken might not be the sexiest tostada option on the menu, but across the board, La Esquina's slow-cooked, shredded chicken is a winner.
Don't mess around. Each person at the table needs to have an ear of this grilled corn in hand. You'll be smiling...with shit in your teeth.
In order of our preference: bistec, pescado, carnitas michoacan (crispy pork), cochinita pibil (pulled pork). You really can't go wrong.
A decent chile relleno, but not our favorite. File these under tasty Mexican food item that is usually disappointing in New York City Mexican restaurants.
A good strip steak served with a nice chimichurri, but nothing special. In general, you will be happier if you stick to the smaller plates.