Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

La Esquina

114 Kenmare St. (Lafayette St.) Send to Phone
646-613-7100 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
High-end Mexican goes subterranean in NoLIta.

Dinner nightly
Open late

* Click here for rating key

La Esquina, New York, NY

La Esquina Restaurant Review

: La Esquina (the corner in Spanish) is a three-headed experience: a Formica-countered taqueria at the junction of Lafayette and Cleveland, the more upscale café around the corner on Kenmare and --- most especially --- the secretive subterranean restaurant, which has acquired a speakeasy patina via its complicated admissions policy. One must first enter the taqueria, go downstairs through the employees-only entrance, get a phone number from the host and only then may one call for a reservation. Once that is secured, you traipse through the kitchen to enter a cavernous space lit by flickering candles and decorated in a theme that could be deemed Mexi-Goth, where every area somehow manages to seem secluded. Choose to haunt the snug bar for small plates (try the quesadillas de huitlacoche, with Mexican "truffles," roasted corn, mushrooms and Oaxacan cheese) and rare tequilas, or take your seat on a padded black banquette for entrées including mole enchiladas. The salads are also standouts, as are the charred chipotle-guava glazed pork spare ribs.
Check out hip and new NYC restaurants to try right now
New & Hip NYC Restaurants

Check out what's new and trendy on NYC's dining scene with GAYOT's list of restaurants to try right now.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.