CLOSED: La Mexicana (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 838 Yonge Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

When Toronto Common offered a taco Tuesday menu at La Mexicana for $20 (including taxes and gratuities), it was too good to pass up. Being a person who loves to try a bit of everything, having the opportunity to eat four different tacos and wash it down with a margarita seemed like an amazing sounding meal to me!

While waiting for the feast to arrive, a basket of tortilla and dips arrived. The chips were thin, crispy and not overly oily. The salsas, the traditional roasted tomato and tart tomatillo, were fresh and simple. These were great for munching on while sipping on the margarita.


Up first two chicken taquitos and a lobster taco accompanied with a creamy tangy guacamole and some pico de gallo.


The chicken taquitos seemed to be a popular dish ordered by other customers at La Mexicana. Plenty of shredded chicken is stuffed into a deep fried crispy corn tortilla. I found it a little dry, but once some guacamole or salsa was added to it, became better. In seeing the taquitos served from the regular menu (arriving three to an order), they were smothered with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese. Indeed, this would have likely tasted better if there was more condiments accompanying it.  


On the other hand, the lobster taco was juicy and filled with flavour – it didn’t need anything else. I enjoyed the flavourful guajillo salsa and softened bell peppers/onions, but IT was a tad messy (not recommended for first dates). Admittedly, the lobster got lost in the smoky chili sauce and became indistinguishable from shrimp but not a deal breaker.


In my hurry to dive into the next dish, I forgot to snap a picture. This plate held a baja fish taco and an al pastor taco with chopped cilantro, onions and lime wedges on the side.

The al pastor taco was filled with strips of pork stewed with chunks of pineapple. There was a slight heat from the pork’s marinade mixed into the sweet fruit. The cilantro and onions worked well to enhance the savoury element of the taco and to bring some freshness to the taco. Generally, I’m not a fan of pineapple with meat (with the exception of sweet and sour pork), but must admit it was better than I expected.

With so many restaurants doing baja fish tacos, La Mexicana’s faltered in comparison. The fish was too battered and became dry and lost amongst the slivers of cabbage and typical spicy aioli. This could have benefited from the addition of the guacamole and pico de gallo so it would been better to serve them with the taquitos.

Baja fish tacos (1)

To share amongst the table, there was also some satisfactory Mexican rice and smooth black beans. We were fairly full but had a taste of both anyways.



\

Perhaps it’s due to format of the menu (having two types of tacos per plate), but all the food arrived lukewarm. Personally, I prefer my food piping hot as it seems to taste better and I find the aroma is more prominent. Food, in my opinion, must be a feast for the eyes, tastebuds and nose. As a whole, the food was decent (and the excellent value for the price we paid) but didn’t impress me enough to warrant regular return visits. 


Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10



Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog

____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Photo Sources:

  1. Baja fish tacos - Good Food TO (http://www.goodfoodtoronto.com/2013/03/la-mexicana.html)