Just like having certain people on speed-dial for when you need to vent about other horrendous human beings until you’re hoarse, you need to have a killer taqueria standing by for situations requiring margaritas and carne asada. La Cocina Oaxaqueña is that reliable Mexican restaurant that’s necessary in your life, just like your friend who puts up with too much of your sh*t.
Cocina doesn’t have artisan Moroccan tile or reclaimed wooden flooring or vintage chandeliers, but they do have cheap margaritas, amazing (and unlimited) salsa, chips fried the second you ordered them, and face-burning camarones al mojo de ajo (spicy shrimp) - and those are the things that matter. You come here to eat good food with friends, not to take photos of it.
La Cocina is our favorite spot for Mexican food in Seattle, and shapeshifts extremely well for most situations. The large-ish patio gets plenty of shade (in terms of sun-blocking, not clever insults) for a tequila-fueled summer birthday dinner, and the dining room inside is dim and vibey enough for a date or small group hang. Just don’t invite any horrendous humans.