La Bodega - 2.75

Holy Mole!

We've had tex-mex stuff its burritos down our throats, heck we've even had desi-mex drown us in garam masala all in the name of mole.  But the only thing that evaded us till now was actual Mexican food. And all in the blink of an eye, it hadn't been weeks since La Bodega opened its doors when Depot 29 ole'd it's way in to the city too.

Let's focus our attention first at La Bodega; in my opinion the more authentic out of the two. La Bodega has been opened by two ladies one of which I make out from our brief chat lived in Mexico, and has brought a local chef down to run the kitchen. 
As for the place? With an aztec design craze hitting the world, I am sure there was no lack of inspiration. Californian meets Aztec quirk - traditional patterned tiles meet wiry urban lighting. Little beakers make for flower table decor; rough plastered white walls and fairy lights brightening little balconies, allow you to believe the next couple of hours will be a delight.  

Now back to the food. Yes authenticity is all I have yearned for, so call me audacious when I now add, authenticity is nothing without good taste & mastery of skill. 

I am no stranger to Mexican food. While I lived in the U.S it did take a little bit, for my palette to separate tex-mex from real Mexican. At first I found it blander, I suppose if you take away all that cheese that could be used to start a pizza chain, it's bound to fall flat at first. I eventually made my way to Mexico where I got a small glimpse in to this vibrant cuisine. It was only once I started working at a fine dining Mexican restaurant, run by a celebrity chef back in the states, was I able to discern all those exotic and beautiful flavours. I learnt that they are simple yet complex all at once. There is sophistication in how the ingredients are handled, yet every bite brings comfort. Such special care if given to the marinating and grilling of meats that there was no need to drown it out with salsas. And like India, Mexico's cuisine is vast and varied through the country. A great amount of preparation and technique also goes in to Mexican cuisine. For a real glance in to this delicious world one must get their hands on Diane Kennedy's cookbook The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. There may be no pictures and steps may look laborious but it tastes that good because no shortcuts have been taken. She is undoubtedly the Julia Child of Mexican cuisine. 

And that brings me to my problem with the La Bodega - the short cuts and lack of technique. But let me take you dish by dish. For not all was lost, with a little more practice I think we may eventually have one decent Mexican restaurant. That is if they choose to work on their short comings rather than ignore them with misplaced pomposity. 

To start.

After a lukewarm meal, we decided to skip dessert and settle for what we knew worked best.. tequila! In hindsight, I do regret not trying the tres leches, it is one of my favourites. Perhaps another time over a round of margaritas or to try their brunch menu, which did look a whole lot more enticing - but I suppose that is if it transpires as well on to our plates. 

Budget: Meal for two avg Rs. 2000 (excluding alcohol and taxes)

Alcohol: Full bar is available 

Outside Seating: Yes

Delivery: No

011 43105777, +91 9818229185
1st Floor, 29 B, Middle Lane, Khan Market

Labels: , , , ,