Review of 'La Bodega Negra'

I have heard very good things about “La Bodega Negra” ever since it first opened in 2012 with the unusual entry marked as a Soho sex club - “XXX”. When we were in the area the other night to see Aladdin we stumbled across “La Bodega Negra” and their “Precio Fijo” set menu in their not-so-seedy entrance off of Moor Street (for the basement lounge area - the preferred dining area according to many including our server - see the “XXX” signs on the south side of “Old Compton Street” near where it meets Charing Cross Road - there is no specific sign for the restaurant so you have to take your chance you have the right place). At two plates for £11.50 and three for £15 it quite a bargain. This coupled with the fact it did not look very busy clinched the decision.

Interior

The interior is basic and “cozy” which I can imagine can get very noisy and crowded. As you are seated you pass by the entrance to the kitchen which is nice to see in a relaxed-style restaurant. The servers are attentive and quite chatty as our order was taken. Both of us ordered from the set menu.

We started with the “Tacos Al Pastor” (with pina & salsa verde; pork tacos with pineapple salsa) which were served on a communal plate with several slices of lime. The small tortillas were almost underdone for my taste being slightly floury but the pork and toppings were delicious.

Tacos Al Pastor Starter

For our mains we chose the “Chicken Fajita” (served with soft corn tortillas, guacamole, salsa comal, sour cream, roasted onions & bell peppers and “Jack” cheese) which took some time to arrive at the table but were absolutely delicious with a good number of fresh tortillas provided covered with wax paper to keep them moist. The chicken was not overcooked and still juicy with the vegetables still crunchy as they were all served on a hot griddle.

Chicken Fajita

The sauces were wonderful and I was brave to try some of the table hot sauces as well including a very dark one that almost tasted a bit like cigarette ash (but in a good way).

Sauces

Unfortunately our time was running short so we had to pass on the “Churros” (with Oaxacan chocolate sauce) for desert. We are huge fans of Churros ever since we started having them at Wahacca so this was a big disappointment for us.

Having tasted the cafe food we will most definitely have to come back to try the proper restaurant downstairs (through door near the XXX sign) which promises much more refined food in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The main floor “cafe” is a relaxed eating area for those that are perhaps are not so interested in atmosphere with a simpler menu (from the look of things) but still serves quite good Mexican food for the area. Service was good but not amazing considering the place was not that full and I certainly cannot complain about the price of the set menu and the drinks are not that pricey either (I had several bottles of the featured “Mexican Cola” at £3.50 which is about right for the area and offered a different flavour than other colas).

Ok, the food didn't really capture my soul but it was certainly very good and worth every penny.

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-01-22


Cuisine: Mexican

Address: 16 Moor Street, London W1D 5HN

Public Transport: TUBE Leicester Square, TUBE Tottenham Court Road

Location: London (England) - Soho

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 758 4100

URL: http://www.labodeganegra.com/