Talk about going Loco, I was going Loco just trying to get into Loco.
Right before Boston became hidden under piles of winter snow, and residents became saddened by even stepping foot out into the streets a much anticipated Southie local restaurant finally opened in mid-January. Owners of the extremely popular Lincoln opened a new concept restaurant in the old Pan Asia space called Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar serving tacos, oysters, ceviche and what seems to be overall fresh seafood and lighter fare. Something much needed South Boston.
I had tried on numerous occasions to go to Loco only to be met with either a line out of the door or a ridiculous wait for a table. It was obviously the “in” place to go. Trying to get a reservation on Opentable was virtually impossible and then the new restaurant opening slowly slipped my mind as the need to be hunkered down on my sofa took over. That was until Thursday night when I was having dinner with two friends. We thought why not just try it and see if we can get in.
We walked into the doors and I immediately felt transported to a local Taqueria on the roadside in Mexico. You know those unpretentious places that serve the best tacos and freshly caught grilled fish? The space is all wood beams and exposed brick with low lighting and reminiscent of being on vacation.
We were escorted to a high wooden top table in the center of the restaurant. My only complaint of the whole evening is regarding the stools as they are were made for a two year-olds bottom, hard and very uncomfortable.
Moving on. Waitstaff are unbelievably attentive and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. We ordered some drinks of Godello wine for myself and Kathleen and an El Jefe for Tricia while we perused their menu. If you are a tequila fan they have a great menu.
The menu is awesome. I love spicy food and I love fresh seafood so I was really happy with all the choices. While we were making our mind up some fresh, crunchy cucumbers in a spicy vinaigrette was delivered to the table. A nice twist from the standard bread or chips and salsa.
We still needed chips though so ordered the guacamole with tortilla chips plus the grilled street corn to share.
The guac is not whipped but rather big chunks of soft avocado with a hint of spice. Excellent guacamole!
The street corn is so chin dripping good. Do not eat on a date!
For mains I stayed with the tacos and ordered the Cola Pork Carnitas. A soft taco filled with shredded pork, grilled onions, peppers and a not to sweet pineapple salsa. The combination is delicious.
Tricia enjoyed the fried fish tacos, which will be what I am having next time I visit.
Kathleen is not a spicy food eater so opted for the special of the evening, which I believe was a chicken enchilada. Sadly, it was still a bit too spicy for her but great for myself and Tricia who eat nearly the whole thing on her behalf.
Our waiter insisted on getting her something else or removing from the bill but we said absolutely not. However, just this type of service sets Loco apart already for me.
Our evening, even with numb bums was really fun, incredibly tasty and a little different.
More drinks were ordered and we hung out for a while longer as we watched the locals pile in until the bar was three deep and no tables were available for dining. This is indeed the new “IN” place.