The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

La Boca Loca

by Robyn on April 27, 2011 in Food & Drink, Suburbs

With the opening of The Roxy cinema, Miramar has suddenly become a rather popular little neighbourhood. And now things get even more interesting with the opening of Mexican restaurant La Boca Loca.

It’s a taqueria – a Mexican fast food joint. But the fast food in question is centred around a selection of tortilla-based dishes, like burritos, tacos and enchiladas, as well as a variety of side dishes.

A lot of thought has gone into the dishes. Everything seems to have been especially designed, rather than any sort of assembly line “your meat here” situation.

Too hotI ordered some stuffed jalapenos, which was a bit of a mistake. They were too spicy-hot for me to enjoy. Like, I was actually in pain and seriously considering running over to the chemist to get some codeine. Drama! I was surprised because I’ve had stuffed jalapenos before without such extreme mouth fire, and also because there wasn’t any sort of warning on the menu. But then, the La Boca Loca does mean “crazy mouth” so perhaps that was my warning.

Good burritoFortunately my main dish was so much more enjoyable. It was a beef burrito, served with a little side salad and feijoa chutney. I am in favour of burritos that do not contain salad. There’s nothing worse than salad exploding out from inside a burrito, so really well done for La Boca Loca putting it on the side.

The feijoa salsa was a nice touch. Despite its Spanish name and continental American origins, I don’t think the feijoa is a big part of Mexican cuisine. The feijoa salsa seems like a nice acknowledgement of the restaurant’s Kiwi location.

The beef in the burrito was tender and seasoned well, so if it’s anything to go by, I’d be more than happy to work my way through the burrito menu.

Now, I know La Boca Loca is new and so I want to cut them a bit of slack, but there were a couple of annoying little things.

Tippy plateThe plate my burrito was served on was curved with a very small flat underside. This meant that when I tried to cut a bit of the food, the plate rocked over on to its edge. It was just really annoying, and I had to keep shoving all the food into the centre of the plate. It seemed more like a dish for finger food than a dinner plate.

And all the seats in the restaurant were backless stools. It’s not the sort of seat one can relax in, and I ended up all hunched over on the table. It was like a trick from one of those ’80s-era fast food restaurants that were designed to stop no-good teens from loitering, but yet La Boca Loca seems more like the kind of restaurant that wants people to stay and order multiple courses of food. And even bloody McDonal’s give customers chairs.

Wellington has so few awesome Mexican restaurants, so it’s good when a promising new one opens. I get the feeling that La Boca Loca is just a few tweaks away from being a really amazing restaurant, and it’s yet another good reason to make a trip out to Miramar.

Robyn Gallagher

Robyn used to live in Wellington, but now divides her time between coastal Waikato and wherever. She can be found over at her long-running blog, watching too many music videos, or generally mucking around on the internet.

  • sue

    Just popped in there today all the seats are not backless, there is a booth and also walls you can sit on a seat and lean back. Also it’s only half open, so when the other side opens up I bet you’ll find more varied seating.

    That said i love the stool, really lovely design and perfect for me eating that style in a busy lunchhour

    • Ah, when I was there, all the seats I saw were backless stools. Perhaps they’ve brought in some in the meantime.

      I think I heard someone talking about the space next door being opened. It sounds like that might be more of a dining room, with the existing space being for takeout and quick meals (hence the stools). I hope the other space has more comfortable chairs – it wouldn’t be very relaxing sitting at a stool while having a nice proper sit-down meal.

  • Muffin mum

    You have made me want to go and try the stuffed jalapenos, being from the UK I am pretty happy with a bit of spice and not keen on the stuffed jalapenos that taste like capsicum.

  • James

    This place is awesome! The food is so fresh… i’ve never had a taco like it. Found the staff super friendly and helpful – and it’s a welcome change from the other limited offerings in the suburb for lunch. Will be a regular haunt for me!

  • Hi Robyn,

    Sue’s right, we’ve only opened half our space so far – and it is the more casual half. As Sue notes we do have already have one comfy booth in the back but in keeping with the taqueria style, most of the seats are the fabulous octo-stools designed by made on jupiter (glad you like them Sue, we think they’re pretty awesome). We hope to open the other half, which is be designed for more relaxed dining, in the next week or so.

    Thanks for the feedback on the plates, Robyn, we’ll see what we can do about that. In the meantime, please know you’re always welcome to eat your tacos and burritos with your fingers, we do!

    Hope to see you back, once the restaurant is open, for a more leisurely meal.

    Cheers,

    Marianne (La Boca Loca)

    • Cheers, Marianne. I’m really looking forward to returning!

      I considered eating the burrito with my hands, but the side salad and salsa would have been too messy. Besides, I’d been given a knife and fork…

      But yes, I’m really excited about La Boca Loca’s arrival and I will definitely return. (I think a movie ‘n’ Mexican mission is in order!)

  • M

    I stopped into La Boca Loca last week for lunch and asked one of the chefs “what’s the spiciest thing on your menu?” He explained to me that they were making everything very mild for now… I would assume because they didn’t want to chase away less accustomed taste buds. It seems like they’re trying to accommodate everybody, bless ’em.

    I enjoyed the heck out of my pollo enchilada (doused in Habanero sauce) and I can’t wait to return.

  • Sarah

    Have managed to jam in breakfast, lunch and dinner at La Boca Loca this week. Loved it! Walked in and immediately smelt fresh, hand made tortillas, Yum! Have travelled around Mexico and Guatemala and it took me right back there! Except of course it was a lot cleaner and the wine was better! Can’t wait to get back!
    The ceviche was fabulous!

  • Jared

    I guess it’s along the same kind of situation when you open a pie shop in the middle of New York City! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10716170

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