Will Ricker’s sequel to La Bodega Negra is a crackling, funky Mexican joint housed in what was his Great Eastern Dining Room – no sex-shop-style entrance here, just a bouncy beach bar with a laid-back vibe. Classic Shoreditch livery sets the tone – think distressed dark-wood panelled walls, glitzy chandeliers and retro coloured light bulbs, plus a ‘family’ room next door with a communal table for walk-ins. The wide-ranging menu opens with assorted starters and small plates, from ‘antojitos’ (‘little cravings’) to sticky pork tacos, hearty chorizo and potato quesadillas and zingy mackerel ceviche pointed up with habanero chilli. To follow, spicy fried chicken is a boldly flavoured plateful and braised rib of beef is long-cooked for fall-apart tenderness. Tequila and mezcal dominate the impressive cocktail list, while the buzzy atmosphere is helped along by a bass-heavy party soundtrack and nattily dressed, eager-to-please staff.
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