L at First Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Delancey St. to 20th St, Ave. D to Park Ave.
This venue is closed.
La Lucha strives for a gritty Mexico City–street-food authenticity along with a lucha-libre-inspired décor taken to an extreme. There are floor-to-ceiling lucha-libre posters, luchador toys and figurines galore, and affiliated knickknacks of every sort. Vintage lucha-libre films are projected against a wall. Even the friendly waitress pops up at your table from time to time wearing a luchador mask. The whole trippy affair brings to mind a goofy teenage fan’s bedroom, crossed with the type of apartment TV cops burst into only to discover a photo montage of the serial killer’s latest victim.
Still, a little kitschy Mexican-wrestling décor goes a long way, and it’s the cooking that makes a visit to La Lucha worthwhile. The brief menu is divided into botanitas (small, shareable snacks), tacos, and specialty-taco plates. We recommend the spring onions, grilled to a char and doused with lime. The tacos, with varieties including a juicy pulled pork and a toothsome poblano pepper and Oaxaca cheese, are served on single tortillas made by Corona’s excellent Tortilleria Nixtamal. This alone puts them in a higher class than most. They’re sold individually, allowing you to customize your own taco binge. The best taco, though, was the three-to-an-order “El Santo” plate, which combines crisped-up salt-cured pieces of beef, bits of grilled chorizo, and chicharrón. It’s a more freestyle approach to the art of the taco, and, fittingly, it’s named after the man widely recognized as the greatest luchador of all time.Ideal Meal
Grilled onions, $3.50; El Santo tacos, $12