La Esquina Cafe & Taqueria

Perfect For: Impressing Out of Towners Outdoor/Patio Situation People Watching Quick Eats Serious Take-Out Operation

This moment has been a long time coming. All three La Esquinas (cafe, taqueria and brasserie) have been in our heavy rotation since the days when the bridge and tunnel crowd rocked Von Dutch instead of Ed Hardy. It's about time we got around to actually writing about them.

This review is specifically for the cafe, La Esquina's urban surf shack - and the taqueria, a prime Outdoor/Patio Situation for People Watching. We've bitched plenty about the fact that there is very little in the way of good Mexican food in this city. La Esquina may not be the most authentic Mexican in town, but it is one of the few establishments to properly spin everything we love about NYC restaurants - attention to detail, high quality ingredients and smart flavor combinations - into a taco. Sure, two fish tacos at the cafe cost twelve bucks, but they're worth every penny. Mexican food also tastes better when you're listening to mix of funky merengue interspersed between choice favorites from The xx, Miike Snow and Florence + The Machine. Infatuation Approved grub to go along with Infatuation Approved tunes. That's how we like it.

Food Rundown:


Oxtail Taquitos
We love taquitos. These skinny, crispy guys are a nice way to start off your meal, and for eight dollars, you can't go wrong.

Ceviche Estilo Acapulco
Easily one of my favorite things to order here, this is a fresh fish ceviche (usually red snapper) that's served in the same glass bowl you used to get Friendly's ice cream sundaes in. Fresh lime, avocado, tomatoes and jalapenos give this starter a nice kick. A must order.

La Esquina Mole Negro
Half a chicken drenched in a sweet and savory mole sauce sauce that makes a strong case for best mole in NYC. It's perfectly balanced - not too heavy or too sweet - and it really brings the chicken to life. We like the chicken mole enchiladas too.

Fish Tacos
Definitely not our favorite fish taco - that honor belongs to Yerba Buena and Mercadito Cantina. That said, on any given day, these can be a little better (or a little worse) than what you'll find at Pinche and Barrio Chino. The fish shows up skewered in a soft taco with pickled red onions and shaved cabbage. It's the red onions that get me every time. Pretty damn tasty.

Crispy Pork Tacos
These are absolutely ridiculous. I daydream about them often and pretty much only order this and fish tacos every time I visit...which is why this food rundown isn't longer.


Solo tacos in the three to four dollar range, most of which land somewhere between good and excellent. Our favorites are the chorizo and the sausage with potatoes and cactus. The seasonal mushroom tacos are also really good.

Tortilla Soup
If you like your tortilla soups thick, skip this. The broth is super thin, but it has great flavor and a nice serving of avocado.

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