LONDON: Deliciously Deceptive

If it seems like we’re going gaga over London these days, it’s because we are. Call it Olympic fever, but this city is totally killing it right now, especially when it comes to new restaurants. The latest must-visit spot is actually a British re-working of an NYC fav, Serge Becker’s three-in-one speakeasy Mexican joint La Esquina, which looks like a weathered diner from the outside. Becker is up to his old tricks in a new spot with Soho’s deliciously deceptive La Bodega Negra, a two-floor restaurant/café that appears to be a skeezy, neon-lit sex shop/peep show, but is actually a (wait for it) Mexican speakeasy! 

Upstairs you’ll find a bright and cheery café, open for lunch until late at night for quesadillas, huevos rancheros and inventive tacos such as al pastor with roasted pineapple and mushrooms with kale. But descend the staircase, and you’re in a whole different atmosphere, one where candlelight, mirrors and sexy booth seating reign supreme, wine barrels line the walls, and a gutted piano stands sentry. 

The restaurant section of La Bodega Negra only does dinner, but it sure does it right, featuring a completely different menu than the café that boasts upscale delights like slow roasted lamb barbacoa for two, crab tostaditas, grilled wild sea bass, and veal tongue tacos. So whether you want a quick lunch or a languid late-night feast, head to the cleverly disguised La Bodega Negra when in Soho. xx Ashley Churchill

La Bodega Negra (Restaurant)

9 Old Compton Street, London W1D 5JF

Reservations: 44 (0)20 7758 4100

 

La Bodega Negra (Café)

Reservations: 44 (0)20 7758 4100

16 Moor Street, London W1D 5NH

Photos: Courtesy of La Bodega Negra, We Heart


 

 

 

 

 

 

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