We weren’t really sure what to expect when we had made our reservation at La Bodega Negra. After rocking up on Old Compton Street and aimlessly looking around, it dawned on us that yes the entrance to the restaurant really was a sex shop. Illuminated with neon lights that read ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Adult Video’ there was nothing to indicate that this really was the popular Mexican cuisine that everyone had been raving about.
Nevertheless we decided to take our chances. A combination of plucked up courage and excitement beckoned us to knock on the door and after holding our breath we were greeted by a trendy 90’s esque fashionable looking woman with braids in her hair and wearing a gold maxi dress. ‘Welcome to La Bodega Negra, may I have your name for the reservation’ she asked. The reception area was red lit and behind the desk was a large collection of porno mags. We weren’t really sure what kind of surprise we were in for as we were then led down some stoney cobbled stairs under yet another neon sign.
There was a real sense of authenticity, first of with the sex shop entrance and then with the restaurant itself. Candle lit with a musky scented fragrance; the elusive den was very atmospheric and featured rustic looking concrete walls adorned with iron deco. Even the food was as authentic as can be and was far from the texan style burritos that usually spring to mind when thinking of Mexican food.
The menu included a variety of tacos including ‘Soft Shell Crab with Chipotle Cream’ and ‘Lamb with Drunken Salsa’; a delightful range of salads, hot plates and dishes straight from the grill. We decided to order a variety of dishes to share and some delicious cocktails too. Our favourite had to be the Soft Shell Crab with the Jalapeno Dip and the Pork Belly straight from the grill. Lovely and succulent with a delicious piece of crackling on the top, we thoroughly enjoyed this generous portion and would definitely order it again.