Inside Mission Chinese’s New Taco Joint
Estimated wait: Two hours at 7:08pm on a Saturday. Look for the Mexican-flag-painted column outside, give them your name and number, and head back into the LES night.
Nearby attractions: A crucial part of your strategy. Golden Cadillac’s two blocks north, Rochelle’s four blocks west. And, apropos of nothing, Arlene’s Grocery’s got live-band karaoke two nights a week.
Real wait: 1:24. You’ll get a blocked-number call. Inevitably, you’ll be drinking and miss it. Twelve minutes later, you’ll hustle over and say a silent, non-denominational prayer for mercy, which’ll be granted.
The milieu: A small cluster of simple two-tops topped with Fiestaware and lit by soft blue neon. Populated by a hodgepodge of iron-willed date-nighters, food-blog enthusiasts and tall blonde girls dressed entirely in black. Danny Bowien’s on the line helping with your lamb rack, your chorizo-stuffed chicken and your tacos. Speaking of...
The taco situation: You feel that? That’s the feeling of the wait melting away to the flavor of al pastor and—get this—tacos of octopus braised with chicken wings. Worth it.
The cocktails: Try the Dirty Horchata, a dangerous little soju-coffee-almond-cinnamon number.
But we hear she’s got a heart of gold.