This is what Mexican food should be
I’m originally from Los Angeles, so whenever people tell me there’s a Mexican food restaurant I need to try, I am always sceptical. But when 11 Westside launched, I got super excited. Led by Executive Chef and owner, Esdras Ochoa (whose famous LA restaurant Salazar is known for its authentic Mexican fare), its grand opening is tomorrow and let me tell you, this is what real Mexican food tastes like.
Finding 11 Westside takes a bit of detective work – it’s address says it’s on Davis Street, but really it’s tucked around the corner from the Hudson building, down an alley and up a flight of stairs. When you arrive, you’ll be wowed by its outdoor terrace, which, if it weren’t raining, would have been the perfect spot for evening drinks, dinner or even sharing small plates.
Inside, the restaurant is elegant yet somehow cosy, a rare mix in this chaotic city. Its exposed ceiling, grand chandeliers and concrete walls are modern yet inviting. The staff is welcoming and friendly, and service is beyond exceptional. Its large space features two bars, a dining room and even a pool room.
Aside from beginning with proper tortilla chips and real salsa (thank you, Chef Esdras!), the evening started on a high note with the Tableside Guacamole. Prepared next to you using a mortar and pestle, our waiter mixed the perfectly ripe avocados with an assortment of spices of our choice (all of them, please). Even as the other items came we refused to give up that guac until every last morsel was gone.
The stand-out dishes included, of course, the tacos, first starting with the East LA Seaside Taco, as it was something I have never tasted. Served on a corn taco, it had shrimp, crab and mashed potato and it was folded in half and topped with a spiced tomato salsa, avocado and coriander. Seriously good. If meat is more your game, you’ll be happy to note the Pollo Asado, Carne Asada and Al Pastor tacos were even more divine.
We also really loved the Echo Park sweet corn that was grilled and served with queso añejo, coriander and lime. The mix of flavours was surprisingly good, as was the grilled fish, the Red Snapper, which was served with tortillas.
Dessert was a choice of flan or churros, and even though my dining partner wasn’t a huge churro fan, I convinced her to get them with me. Considering she could not stop dipping her churro into the accompanying batter (made with white chocolate ganache and churros popcorn), I wasn’t surprised when she announced, “Those were the best damn churros I’ve ever had.” Yeah, no kidding.
The fabulous seven-course tasting menu (featuring three refreshingly good cocktails – one a Tequila with grapefruit and bubbles) had a set price of $680 as its soft opening price, which honestly was a steal considering just how full and how satisfied we were. Not only will I be returning to 11 Westside, I will be bringing all my friends and family with me.
11 Westside, 1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 3996 7754, www.11Westside.com