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La Choza, review.

As I sit and peruse La Choza whilst sipping from my candy skull mug, there is something odd about the place that I can’t quite put my finger on, and whatever that ‘thing’ is, i similarly can’t decide whether it’s a good or bad ‘thing’.

My first visit was in much different circumstances to my second. Visit one entailed a dressed up affair, invited out for dinner, location unknown, I put on a party dress and some pink lipstick and headed out to meet my dining companion.

On heading down Trafalgar Street and stopping abruptly at La Choza, I was pleasantly surprised if not slightly concerned I may have been a little over-dressed for street food. I was excited at the prospect of eating here as the crazy candy skull decor, tequila and tempting Mexican food had appealed to me for ages.

It was 8pm, and on phoning before-hand, my companion informed me La Choza had thought it not a problem to seat us (they don’t take bookings under ten) However when we arrived the restaurant was completely full and we were informed we would need to join a waiting list of approximately 1 1/2 hours wait. This seemed a long time to wait, however we were keen and our hunger hadn’t yet reached catastrophic levels, so we went and got a pint and waited for our phone call.

After finishing a couple of drinks and in need of some grub we headed back to La Choza (no phone call) Timing was just right and we were the last table to be seated (No new diners after 9.30). After some questionable chat from the friendly waiter, we sat down and after asking for some menus, perused what we were to eat.

The menu looked great, choose your 1) base 2) filling 3) salsa

Meat included pulled pork, spicy beef and  juicy tiger prawns, I went for the spicy beef in the crunchy corn tostadas (crunchy tacos) with medium salsa, which pleasingly were gluten free.

My meal arrived and I was very happy, loaded beef tostadas with a just-right spicy salsa and mixed red cabbage side. The tostadas had a perfect crunch and the beef was spicy and sweet. My dining companion however wasn’t so happy. After going for the hot salsa but asking it to come on the side, unfortunately his request wasn’t granted. He loves hot food and has a high chilli tolerance, however this was face melting! I watched him sweat his way through it, feeling slightly guilty that my meal was so perfect.

What ruined the experience slightly this first visit was the 9.30 curfew. We were seated at 9.15, and 5 minutes later were told to place our final drinks orders as the bar would be closing. We were then repetitively told ‘not to rush’ in the way that could only imply we were to rush, and at one point the waiter began sweeping around us and the other remaining diners (!)

The final straw was when our bill was brought to us without it being requested straight after finishing our food in a ‘Oh sorry, did you not ask for your bill?!’ kind of way.

All this aside, I did love La Choza, the food was great and although the service was alternative and fairly unorganised, there was something passionate and endearing which left me wanting more. It was clear the staff were enthusiastic about what they were doing.

They must have been doing something right as I returned once more for a business bite to eat on Wednesday lunchtime. 11.50am and La Choza was already almost full!

This time I had the soft corn tacos with spicy beef, and they were delicious. Service was an improvement on visit one, and although only one waiter was serving for most of the time we were there, it was spot on.

If you’re after cheap, different eats, and somewhere that isn’t for an occasion holding high expectations, La Choza really is an intriguing, endearing find.

You can even pick up a candy skull mug for £5, and the decor of the restaurant really is incredible.

 

 

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La Choza

Just don’t order the hot salsa (!)

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