Saturday, January 31, 2015

There Will Be Tacos

Danny Bowien's Mission Cantina lands in the LES


Photo courtesy @jbestak.

An ancient proverb that we just made up says, "You can never have too many tacos."

And now that Danny Bowien's long-awaited sequel to Mission Chinese — known as Mission Cantina — is finally here, we can put that maxim to the test.
The cantina turns out house-made Oaxacan cheese and tortillas with corn from Anson Mills. It does so under neon light, and the watchful gaze of a posterized Jenny McCarthy, suggestively squeezing a condiment bottle.
Don't worry, things get a little fancy, too. Exhibit A: soft-scrambled eggs with hominy and sea urchin. Exhibit B: Hokkaido scallop-and-beef-heart ceviche, dressed with capers and citrus.
But you're here for the tacos, packed with the likes of confit pork shoulder, grilled brisket, lamb belly, pork belly, beef tripe, pumpkin, and octopus.
Going in a group? Order up the full rack up lamb ribs, sauced with a coffee-and-hibiscus mole. 
Quench your thirst with high-low mashups like the Dirty Horchata — cold-brewed Stumptown coffee, almond milk, soju, and cinnamon — and a house michelada rimmed with bacon.

We can't believe that's a first for us, either.

Mission Cantina
172 Orchard St. (Stanton St.), Lower East Side
(212) 254-2233

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)

Subway: F to 2nd Ave.
Scene: More or less the same as the Mission Chinese crowd, with taco-mania in their eyes.
Best bets: scrambled eggs; carnitas tacos; lamb ribs
Nearby: Arlene's Grocery; The Golden Cadillac; Viktor & Spoils

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