L at First Ave.
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Delancey St. to 20th St, Ave. D to Park Ave.
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, El Santo tacos