Friday, August 28, 2015

Sydney Spotlight: Los Vida

For the last (nearly) six years I've lived in Sydney and had to subject myself to their substandard version of Mexican food.  When I first arrived here, the Mexican food was terrible. Disgusting. Un-eat-able.  I thought often: what is this hell I'm living in where the guacamole has sour cream in it and the tortillas are cold?! 

However, instead of deciding then and there that I would give up eating Mexican food in Sydney completely, I did the opposite.  I ate at every single Mexican establishment I could find.  There were some hits and many, many misses.  However, it seems these days there are more good finds then terrible ones. Has Sydney finally figured out that sour cream doesn't belong in guac? Have more Mexicans traveled to the land down under to open up shop? OR have my taste buds changed to accept sub-par Mexican food?! ...lets hope it's not the latter.

Anyway, all of this to say that today I stumbled upon a newly opened, Mexican Restaurant in Crows Nest...and oh my gosh it was GOOD.

I went to Los Vida with no real expectations. The logo looks really trendy, which sometimes can be a bad sign. Read: hipster best mates who visited Mexico once and decided they knew enough to open up a 'cool' restaurant. Barf. Needless to say, I was fantastically surprised when the tacos served were not only mouth-wateringly good, but also authentic.

There were radishes! and warm tortillas! The tortilla chips were made on site! What was this Mexican haven I had stumbled into?

I ordered just two tacos -- lamb barbacoa and one called Yucatan Fish. The rest of the table got an array of tacos and I was able to see what they all looked like.  The beef, pork and chicken were all shredded and looked run of the mill, but still delicious.  The original fish taco was beer battered and served with slaw; not so Mexican as much as it is Baja/Californian but it came with crunchy jalapenos on the top that made me want to order it for next time. The most interesting one had octopus in it, but I forgot to ask if it was yummy or not.

All the folks I dined with had nothing but good things to say too.

The place was decorated pretty kitschy as is standard in any Mexican restaurant in Sydney, but upon looking around it was obvious that those who designed it actually knew about real Mexican Culture. Which should be right, because the website boasts that the masterminds behind Los Vida are two Mexicans born & raised in Mexico City.

So there you go. That's why it was so good!

Should you visit Los Vida? Abso-freaken-lutely.  Do you need to travel all the way to Crows Nest? Not really, they have 2 locations in the City and one opening in Barangaroo this September. If you're going though, let me know. I'll meet you there. ;)