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La Esquina

114 Kenmare St. (Lafayette St.) Send to Phone
High-end Mexican goes subterranean in NoLIta.


Dinner nightly
Open late

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La Esquina, New York, NY

Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

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.

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Read GAYOT's review.