Taqueria, W11 2RS
- 020 7229 4734
- 139-143 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS
- noon-11pm Mon-Thu; noon-11:30pm Fri; 10am-11:30pm Sat; noon-10:30pm Sun
The venue is well lit and plainly but pleasantly furnished photo, with seating for about 24 people and a small bar.
The lunch menu, available between noon and 4pm, ranges from soups served with cheese quesadillas at £6 to chicken enchiladas at £9 for two, but on weekdays the price of all lunch menu plates is capped at £6.50 (prices as of February 2011). Chilaquiles and enchiladas come with a choice of sauces. The size of the dish tends to correspond roughly to the price, with some offering significantly more filling a meal than others, so newcomers may want to ask the waiter's advice. itsbruce particularly recommends the sopa de tortilla.
The main menu includes a selection of tacos ranging in price from £4 to £6 (as of February 2011), with two or three of them depending on which is chosen. Most main menu items are available at lunchtime, but main courses may take longer to arrive.
The proprietor also owns the Cool Chile Company, which imports Mexican cooking ingredients, some of which (dried chillies, tinned tomatillos, epazote) are available for purchase here.
On a February 2011 visit, itsbruce had the sopa de tortilla photo, which was sharply spiced and attractively presented. Torsten had chicken enchiladas verdes photo, easily the largest platter on the lunch menu; he enjoyed the tomatillo sauce but found it a little lacking in heat. Chris chose the carne asada tacos photo from the main menu; this was not a large dish, so he was glad of the side dishes, but the skirt steak was very tender and he didn't regret his selection. Philip, a pescetarian, had frijoles, arroz y espinacas (black beans with rice, garlicky greens and plantain), which was mildly spiced and much enjoyed. We shared refried beans (nicely flavoured but it would have benefited from some complementary totopos) and aguacate. The latter, half an avocado lightly coated in lime, salt, coriander and diced onion, was a lovely dish, nicely ripe and with a zing from the sea salt which provided a pleasant counter to the spicier dishes. For drinks, we variously opted for Negra Modelo, tamarind water (cool and not too sweet) and coffee. The bill for four came to £46.50, including service.
On Ewan and Kerry's March 2011 visit, we enjoyed a fine opening plate of botana for sharing (£8.50) photo, which comprised some decent totopos (like a tortilla chip, and clearly made on the premises rather than from a packet) served with refried beans with crumbled cheese, and guacamole. Kerry's tacos photo were excellent, and Ewan particularly enjoyed his chilaquile rojo (£9, totopos served with refried beans and tender shredded chicken) photo, and indeed wasn't even able to finish it all off.
itsbruce's verdict: I've been visiting this restaurant since 2008, and rate it highly. Service has always been swift and friendly. The cooking is not as adventurous as that in Santo but noticeably better than El Camion Mexicano, with much faster service than the former and priced somewhere in between.
Ewan's verdict: I can certainly agree with itsbruce; this place offers far superior food to Mexican restaurants I've tried in central London and is worth a trip to Notting Hill. Kerry can also offer her recommendation as an American who is very demanding when it comes to decent Mexican food.