La Taqueria DXB is as Mexican a restaurant as they come. And the fact that it’s an all family affair only adds to its homely nature and all Mexican pedigree. Yup, kitchen to table everyone is Mexican…and related. Isaac, the long-bearded, surfer dude co-owner, has brought his brother out from Mexico to run the kitchen. A cousin acts as sous chef. Isaac and his wife run the rest of the show. And somewhere in there is the other co-owner, Victor. For now there are no other staff. So you are served by the..management. How cool is that? And listen, Isaac isn’t just another Latino fresh off a banana boat (can anyone guess what movie that quote was from?). This bad boy is one of the original team members behind hugely successful Chipotle wannabes, Taqado Mexican Kitchen.
The restaurant itself has the laid-back, casual look-feel of an interior designed by the owner rather than a big design house. It’s almost spartan in comparison with some of the other restaurants but honest, believable, unpretentious; one of these places where you know the food is going to be amazing. A hidden gem in the making.
And yes, the food is amazing. I’m lucky to have been to a Mexican restaurant a couple of days ago and was able to make a pretty decent comparison. But before I go on, I must make an apology to Muchachas, the restaurant I was at last week. I ridiculed them for serving ‘soft-shell’ tacos, believing that the ‘hard-shell’ tacos I was weaned off in the US, were the way tacos should be. Not so. Tacos in Mexico are soft shelled and I stand corrected, and humbly apologise to Muchachas. Right, with that out of the way we can go back to the rest of this review.
La Taqueria tacos were smaller than I expected but big on variety, huge on taste. Try the tongue and the quack-quack, which is how Isaac explains what duck is. We were so surprised to find duck on the menu, we asked “duck?”, thinking perhaps it was some funny name the Mexicans gave a taco. To which he replied, “yeah, you know, quack-quack – duck”. Anyway, try it. It’s good.
The truth is, everything was good. The complimentary nachos and salsa, the excellent guacamole which you can order as chili hot as you want…or don’t, the fried quesadillas…everything. For me the best part was that Isaac was there to, not just talk us through the menu, but also to advise us on what to have…and what not to. And the very fact that, once he has taken your order, he pokes his head into the kitchen to call out the order to his brother, and then brings the food to the table himself…it really makes all the difference.
I loved the place and have absolutely no reservations in wholeheartedly recommending it to you. Remember though, these guys have just started. Forgive the hic-ups (if any) but give them feedback, good or bad. Isaac is one of those guys who can take constructive criticism…right on this bearded chinny chin chin. Oh, and if you’re driving around wondering where to park, there’s free parking in the building.