Tuesday, January 5, 2010

La Lucha 01-04-2010

Location: 147 Ave. A
Time: 7:30pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: Several friends recommended me the new Mexico City street food joint, La Lucha in East Village. Having been to Mexico City several times to visit my family, I was thrilled to try this Luchador themed taqueria. When I first tasted a corn tortilla taco in Mexico City at the age of 10, it was an incredibly shocking experience. The smell of pollution and exhaust gas from green cabs, (actual color green, not environmental green) absolute lack of fish from all cuisine, and the strong flavor of corn-- they all mixed together and brought a complete culinary confusion and astonishment to a little Osakan girl. I then realized I could still enjoy a large variety of flavors despite my distrust of meat.

La Lucha is decorated with a wonderfully kitschy Luchador theme, including the bathroom. Even the bill was brought to us in a mini toy wrestling ring! How adorable! However, the place is very, very small, which made me feel claustrophobic, and I had a difficult time putting on my coat without accidentally kicking and bumping into other customers. I hope they thought that was a part of the Lucha theme.

As you probably expected, there were not many veggie options. But that's what I love to do: trying different places and picking things I could eat. It's a challenge. The smell of meat in the place bothered me a little, but I was able to order mushroom taco ($2.50) and El Martinete ($3, two taquitos with refried beans, plantains, pickled onions) without cheese. I'm sure ordering without cheese confused the waiter, but an ovo-pescatarian has a right to enjoy Mexico City street food.

The taquitos were very flavorful, especially the tangy flavor of pickled onions gave a surprise addition to the flavor. The refried beans were particular creamy. Unfortunately the mushroom taco was bland, but that is completely understandable without cheese. I did not care for the large amount of raw onions, however.

RB's El Santo ($12 for three tacos: salted cured steak, fried pork skin, and chorizo) was really tasty and crispy, but the portion was small. Each taco was about three inches in diameter.

We also shared guacamole and chips and roasted corn with chili mayo since the tacos were very small. The chips were amazingly crispy and full of bald corn flavor, and I could not have enough of them. Oh, and the corn with chili mayo! It somehow tasted very similar to Okonomiyaki sauce with creamy, spicy kicks. It was incredibly messy to share this corn, but perhaps it was the tastiest mess RB and I have ever shared in public. I do not recommend this on your first date, however. The sauce will be all over your mouth, some pieces of corn might get stuck between teeth, and it gives you garlicy-chili breath. Quite attractive. But if your partner still goes home with you after sharing this corn, that's a good proof of love.

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