La Esquina, Soho
New York City , New York
Tel: 646 613 7100
Concierge.com's insider take:
La Esquina is not a single restaurant but an entire Mexican food complex anchored by a grungy corner taqueria serving fine dirt-cheap soft tacos (grilled pork with pineapple, chorizo with cactus) until five in the morning. Around the corner, you'll find a mid-priced cantinawith outdoor seating in summeroffering those same toothsome tacos on an actual plate along with more involved dishes like stuffed poblanos and carne asada. Meanwhile, the main hot spot attraction, run by nightlife impresario Serge Becker (of the 205 Club, Joe's Pub, and the Box fame), is hidden like a Mexican speakeasy behind an unmarked door that's guarded at night by a gatekeeper with clipboard in hand. Accessible by reservation only, this subterranean brasserie features a velvet-rope vibe, potent icy margaritas, and big portions of high-end Mexican fare including an exceptionally succulent half chicken smothered in rich, complex mole.
Taqueria open Mondays through Fridays 8 to 11:30 am and noon to 5 am, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 am.
Café open Mondays through Fridays noon to midnight, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to midnight.
Brasserie open Mondays through Sundays 6 pm to 2 am.