106 Kenmare Street, SoHo, New York City, New York, 10012
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Singles, Celebrity spotting, Nightlife, People watching, Trendiness
Expert review of La Esquina
When this hotspot opened a few years back underneath a seedy street-level lunch counter, it was impossible to get a reservation unless you knew someone at the door (or one of the owners) as the young and beautiful thronged the subterranean space nightly for strong margaritas, excellent Mexican food and a party-like scene. Nowadays it’s still heaving (with celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore among the frequent sightings), but I prefer to sneak around to the attached La Esquina café where they have the same menu and drinks with a much saner atmosphere.
A fresh seasonal approach to Mexican food that keeps it light and delicious. Among my favorites are the fish and pulled pork tacos. The margaritas are also unmissable!
The main space is a cavernous large room with a rocking bar, crowded banquettes and gothic lighting, which makes it a great space for a party, but if I am in the mood for an actual conversation I prefer to go to the cafe/restaurant where a limited number of tables make it a great spot to catch up.
Again the café has much better service than the bigger space downstairs where the wait to place an order is long, and servers don’t seem to care.
On Cleveland Place, a convenient and trendy part of the city that’s close to SoHo, the Lower East Side and downtown Manhattan.
A three-course meal without wine is around US$30 per person but I find that just one course (from US$9) does the trick.
They take reservations at the main restaurant but it’s always a wait anyway. My tip? Although they don’t take reservations at the café, the upstairs spot is such a secret that my wait isn’t usually more than 20 minutes.
More information on La Esquina:
- Price guide:
- Bar, Restaurant
- 106 Kenmare Street, SoHo, New York City, New York, 10012
- Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon-Thu noon-midnight, Fri noon-1am, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-midnight.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential