New Neighbor: Mi Casa Es Su Casa at 140 Orchard St.

In the middle of buzzing Orchard Street., just above Delancey, sits a new homey restaurant and lounge, Mi Casa Es Su Casa.

Azul

Grilled steaks, lamb chops, an assortment of sausages and empanadas – Argentianian style.

152 Stanton, near Suffolk

646-602-2004

Daily, 6pm-midnight

Web site

A Casa Fox

Empanadas, braised short ribs and other hearty South American specialties, many of which are cooked in a wood burning oven.

173 Orchard, near Stanton

212-253-1900

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday noon-11pm

Web site

El Nuevo Amanecar

A Mexican spot on Stanton Street serving all the standards (tacos, burritos, enchiladas) — plus lethal margaritas. Don’t expect speedy or attentive service, but if you don’t mind waiting, it’s a good time.

117 Stanton, at Essex

(212) 387-9115

Hours Daily 11am-11pm

Menu

Delivery

Macondo

Latin street food and fancy cocktails from the owners of Rayuela.

157 E. Houston St., near  Allen St.

212-473-9900
Open Mon-Thu, 11am-midnight; Fri, 11am-4am; Sat, 11am-4am; Sun, 11am-midnight.

Mole Mexican Bar & Grill

Traditional Mexican with fresh lime margaritas.

205 Allen St., nr. Houston St.

212-777-3200

Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight.

Web site

Casa Mezcal

A little bit of Oaxaca comes to the Lower East Side. The three-story restaurant, bar and cultural center features, as you probably guessed, delicious tequila drinks, a tapas menu and a recently introduced full dinner menu. Are you man/woman enough to try  the fried grasshoppers with cheese?

86 Orchard Street, at Broome

212-777-2600

Hours Tues- Thur 12-2am Fri-Sat 12–4am Sunday 12-1am

Facebook Page

Tapeo 29

The authentic Spanish tapas bar offers simple dishes, regional wines and a relaxed atmosphere. Large windows open up onto Clinton Street in warmer months.

29 Clinton Street, at Stanton

212-979-0002

Hours Mon-Thu, 6pm-1am; Fri, 1pm-4am; Sat, 11am-4am; Sun, 11am-1am

Web site

Rayuela

Rayuela means “hopscotch” in Spanish, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the food here. It’s a creative Latin menu, drawing from many different countries. Among the best entrees: fried-plantain “mofongo” balls stuffed with pork, paella with fresh lobster and scallops, an Ecuadoran seafood stew called surena, and the Afro-Brazilian specialty fufu (mashed plantains or yams) with with spicy shrimp and chorizo.

165 Allen, near Stanton

212-253-8840

Hours Mon-Thu, 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight; Sun, 5pm-10pm

Web site

Brooklyn Taco

Photo by Cynthia Lamb.

Photo by Cynthia Lamb.

Cusine: Mexican
Address: 120 Essex St., Essex Street Market/map
Phone: 646-820-8226
Hours:  Daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Menu/web site
Reservations: no
Delivery: no
 

Jesse Kramer, a French Culinary School grad, and Erica Molina first impressed taco aficionados on the Lower East Side at the Hester Street Fair. Their creations, featuring super-fresh ingredients, are now offered up from a stall at the back of the Essex Street Market.  The guaco taco, with avocado, sweet corn and crema, is a crowd pleaser.  The cola braised pork is a winner, too. There are only three stools, so lunchtime at Brooklyn Taco is a tight squeeze.  But Jesse is a great guy who aims to please and who keeps the line moving. Extra bonus: the place serves Blue Bottle coffee.

 

Mentions on The Lo-Down

JP’s Food Adventures: Heritage Meats, Brooklyn Taco Come to Essex Street Market

 

Los Feliz

A gussied up taqueria and tequila bar (150 varieties) from the Spitzer’s Corner team. The exapnsive lower level has a clubby feel. Private rooms are available.

109 Ludlow, near Delancey

212-228-8383

Hours 5pm-4am

Web site

El Sombrero

elsombrero

Cusine: Mexican
Address: 108 Stanton St. (Ludlow)/map
Phone: 212-254-4188
Hours:  Sun-Thu, 10am-2am; Fri-Sat, 10am-4am
Menu
Reservations:  Yes
Delivery: No
 
El Sombrero, referred to a lot of locals as “The Hat,” is one of he last “old school” spots within the Lower East Side’s gentrified nightlife district.  Opened by Jose Suriel, a Dominican, in 1984, the Mexican restaurant is now operated by Palmerio Fabian and Josephina Diaz, Suriel’s niece and nephew.  El Sombrero is beloved by LES residents, as well as young revelers, for its cheap frozen margaritas and extremely hot salsa.  You’ll find all the basics here: burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, chimichangas.   Nothing fancy, but after all these years the Hat is an endangered species, and you should visit this LES institution while you still can. 

 

 

Barrio Chino

barriochino

Cusine: Mexican
Address: 253 Broome St. (near Orchard)/map
Phone: 212-228-6710
Hours:  Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; weekends 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
Menu/web site
Reservations: yes
Delivery: no

More than a decade after arriving on the “below Delancey” restaurant scene, Barrio Chino is still one of the most popular spots for good, inexpensive food and interesting drinks.  Taking its cues from the neighborhood’s Latino and Chinese cultures, the decor is eclectic.  Most everything on the menu is good; we especially like the tortilla soup, soft tacos and enchiladas verdes.  The margaritas, made with Barrio Chino’s signature infused tequilas, are top notch and never too sweet.  The staff is friendly and laid back, but the place is tiny, so if you’re not prepared for a wait, weekday lunch might be your best option.

 

La Isla

Dominican take-out place alongside the Williamsburg Bridge, offering some interesting dishes (like codfish and eggs for breakfast). The downside: they close early.

212 Delancey, near Ridge

(212) 598-4752

Hours Monday-Saturday 6am-6pm

Menu

Delivery, Cash only

La Flaca

A New Mexican spot on a restaurant-poor stretch of Grand Street — with a full bar, happy hour specials and lunch service.

384 Grand Street, at Suffolk

(646) 692-9259

Hours: Daily: 12pm-4am (Kitchen closes at 11:30pm) Brunch Daily: 12pm-4pm

Web site