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“What an Experience!”
Review of La Esquina

La Esquina
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Ranked #187 of 13,735 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: SoHo
Cross street: Kenmare Street
Transit: 6 train to Spring Street
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“What an Experience!”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We finally scored a booking for a great food experience at La Esquina so do not give up if you are trying to make a booking - it is well worth persisting!! The ambience is great and the food was superb! The service was excellent and the prices were reasonable. Definitely a must do when visiting New York!!

Helpful?
Thank terryandhelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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893 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fresh, high-quality Mexican”
Reviewed November 14, 2012 via mobile

We went to La Esquina on a friend's recommendation. This is the same friend who recommended Lure and Balaboosta, so we knew we were in for a treat.

There's a cute restaurant La Esquina cafe on Lafayette south of Kenmare; that's not where you want to go. Instead, go into what looks like a taqueria on Kenmare. You'll be escorted through the door marked, "No Admittance. Employees Only", down the stairs, through the kitchen (really) to the coat check and then to a very cool space comprising a bar and surprisingly spacious restaurant. There's also a semi-private space toward the back that would be great for parties. The way the dining room is hidden reminds me of Chumley's, although given the path through the kitchen (and the fact that Chumley's is closed) this is even cooler.

First things first -- the margaritas were excellent. Everything on the menu looked good, so we decided to order a bunch of appetizers rather than a main course. I'm glad we did - we got to try a whole bunch of absolutely delicious plates that were very generous and a terrific value.

We had tuna tostadas and shrimp taquitos to start. My wife had the tortilla soup; I had the beet salad. We then shared the ceviche "acapulco" (with market fish), chipotle-guava pork ribs (amazing!), and the quesadilla. Everything was absolutely delicious - we're looking forward to returning with our friends so that we can try the rest of the small plates and appetizers!

The service was top-notch and very attentive - our water glasses were always full, and we never had either too little or too much time between "courses". Our entire meal, including drinks, was relatively inexpensive.

La Esquina is one of the best values for such high-quality food in the city. I highly recommend it.

Helpful?
1 Thank Adam F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Don't be put off by the exterior! Inside there is a gem!”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We were reccomended La esquina by both a friend and our hotel concierge, and thought we'd try it. Upon arrival, I was skeptical! It looked like a grimey diner! But we were led through the doors, down the stairs to a wonderful restuaraunt and bar! Both the food and cocktails were impressive and the atmosphere was brilliant! We ate and then danced until 2am. Avoid on a Saturday night if you are looking for a quiet meal for two, as the music is loud. A really good night out!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rachela G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Too Cool”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

You drive up to this old fashioned looking dining car, and think,"Hmmm...". It is deep enough for three people..front to back .. maybe four. there's a podium with a hostess and a doorman who cheeks if there's room for you ...and then they take you through a door way, down these grungy stairs, through this noisy, basement kitchen.. and into this "speakeasy' like cavern of a bar.
I am a sucker for dark intimate spaces at night. Even if the food sucked...I would go back for the awesome ambience.It's 'cool.' Very hard to define cool...but you know it when you see it.It just is.
I lived in Mexico for a while and ate all over the country at some amazing restaurants. You cannot fake Mexican to me.... and the food at La Esquina is amazing and an authentic re-interpretation of Mexican..Cool.... dark, intimate , cavernous, melting wax candles and great food.Well worth the experience.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank konstantinamahlia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Vibrant mexican-inspired hideaway SOHO”
Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

The classic NY quick and cheap eatery facade belies the dining experience in the cavernous basement section know as the brasserie.
Enter the taqueria and two men will be standing by an unmarked metal door. They decide if you are sent to the neighbouring cafe or into the depths.
Down stairs, through the kitchen to a perfectly lit, not overly noisy bar and table area.
We ordered a selection of smaller dishes and I especially liked the beet salad.
The tamarind marguerita was awesome.
About $70 bill for 4 smallish dishes and two cocktails. About right, I thought.
Wait staff were great but of course did their job of keeping us moving.
Definite recommendation.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 1dales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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