La Cholita

Since I have moved to Northbridge, La Cholita is one of those restaurants that I love to just wander down to on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon – you’re always guaranteed to find a table, the staff are super friendly and the margaritas are off the hook. There is quite often a lunch special of some sort going, but the best time to visit is on Sunday because with any sangria or beer you get a taco for $2 – does it get any better? While I’ve managed to grab the odd taco here and there over the last few months, normally I try and keep the alcohol intake down on a Sunday which makes it difficult to take full advantage of this Sunday special. But Western Australia Day came to my rescue a few weeks ago, when we got a Monday off simply for living in this beautiful state, which presented the perfect opportunity for a Sunday arvo tipple. – aka sangrias and tacos with reckless abandon.  

Stepping into the doorway at La Cholita, your eyes are immediately drawn to the wall of tequila behind the bar. They have more varieties than I would have ever thought possible, even one that costs $300 per shot – the ‘Cuervo 250th Anjniversario’. I had to double check with our waiter when I read that, as I thought I might have misunderstood something – maybe it was for a bottle? But it’s definitely just for a shot – apparently no one has ever ordered it but he let us know he is hanging out for the day someone does to find out what it tastes like. So if you have a spare couple hundred and a penchant for top-shelf spirits, there is your new goal in life! Just bring me along with you please.

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After we settled in at a table we immediately got stuck into the menu, mapping out our taco plan of attack. There is about 8 tacos on the menu, normally ranging from $5 – $10. With a beer or a decent sized glass of sangria coming in at $6, its a pretty good deal you’re getting!

You also get your pick of hot and smokey sauces on the table, along with the selection of sauces and dressings that get bought out with any taco. The fresh chilli sauce has a real kick to it, so watch out!

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We started off with the Baja fish taco with chipotle mayo, and the beef cheek taco with pico de gallo (tomato salsa). To accompany was the spicy duck taquitos ($11) and the ceviche ($11.50). It’s pretty hard to pick a favourite out of these, but if I had to it would be the duck taquitos. Crispy cigars of tortilla encasing slivers of rich tender duck, it was a tastebud overload getting through one of these.

As for the rest of this round –  I had a giggle a little at the size of the fish as the soft taco shell only wrapped around about two-thirds of it! Not a reason to complain though, as the fish was hot and flaky inside its batter, while the beef was juicy and jazzed up a little by the fresh tomato. The ceviche was fresh and tangy, and the flour tortillas that came with them were out of this world – I have never had any quite so good!

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After we got through these, the only sensible thing left to do was to order more tacos. This time round we went all out with:

  • beef tongue with coriander,
  • pumpkin, pickled cabbage and queso fresco,
  • prawn, pickled cabbages and avocado
  • scallop and cucumber salsa and avocado
  • stuffed jalapeno with beef picadillo
  • slow cooked pork with pineapple and onion

My favourite would have to be the scallop taco, with the fresh avocado and that unique scallop taste that I have only recently come to love (forgive me for my past sins!). I do have a special spot for pumpkin though, and the queso fresco on that one ticked all my boxes. There wasn’t a flavour combination in any of them that didn’t hit the spot though – these were some seriously sexy tacos.

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After this taco and sangria feast, we decided to finish off with something a little more serious – mostly because we had drunk too much sangria and become over ambitious. We ordered the pork belly with jalapeno salsa, along with a tamarind margarita and a La Cholita sour.

The pork belly was everything you want pork belly to be – tender meat with a crispy skin over a layer of fat – when this cut of meat is cooked well it’s enough to induce a little bit of drool every single time. This rich meat was set off perfectly by the salty, tangy margaritas that came out looking absolutely perfect and had a flavour to match.

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La Cholita was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon – I love the relaxed vibe of this funky Mexican restaurant, the friendliness of the staff who are always willing to stop for a chat, and the fabulous food that constantly streams out of the kitchen. Always a winner in my book!

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