It seems Mexican food is now back in fashion, or at least that's what I'm inclined to feel given the popularity of hot spots La Cholita and El Publico, plus the friendly take away versions like Zambreros. So it's unsurprising that another Mexican restaurant has opened up, this one with the tongue twisting name - Big El's Latin American Fusion. Let's call it Big El's for short.
Big El's is situated at the old Sake Bar, which is the old Harry's Bar and about a million other venues. It seems that this site has had some bad luck over the years. Hopefully for these guys they'll make it work.
Though I drive along this street all the time, I didn't actually know what Big El's was until it was one of the Dimmi/Urbanspoon offers that boasted a 50% discount on food. Naturally the bargain hunter inside me prompted a swift booking.
I do like using the tortilla chips to scoop up the salmon, especially the big crunch that follows with each mouthful.
The pulled beef is my favourite out of the two meats. It's nice and tender, with a good level of seasoning and flavour. The best combination for my palate I work out is the beef, guacamole, black bean salsa and chipotle mayonnaise.
The chilli con queso is delicious. I'm a big fan of this dip in general, with the cheesy chilli combination and this one has just the right combination of ingredients to shine. It's extremely moorish and I could have happily snacked on this all night. It does have a bit of a chilli kick, but nothing that blows my lid off (unlike the salsa previously mentioned).
When we've finished the food that's arrived Jeremy and I are still a little hungry, but we're reluctant to order more instead we're keen on getting tutti frutti for dessert. We also realise that we've finished our meals in 30 minutes from arrival to bill. We're not fast eaters at all, but I guess the speed of delivery in the orders arriving at our table left us with a reasonable amount of time to feast away.
In all I mostly enjoyed our experience at Big El's. There's definitely room for improvement - namely in the flavours and also I think their pricing needs reconsideration as their standard menu price is a little higher than what it should be. As a regular at La Cholita and El Publico, I think that Big El's plays it quite safe in their menu.
I'm not anything close to a chef or an expert when it comes to food, but nothing we ate seemed any different from what we produce at home when Jeremy and I decide to knuckle down and really cook from scratch. I think I may have had bigger expectations for our dinner than I should have.
But that said, I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the dinner at Big El's. It was relaxed, cheap (thanks to our discount) and relatively enjoyable. I guess we'll just see if they can prove the curse of their site wrong and make it work. I hope for them, that they do.