Tuesday, July 05, 2011

June 25, 2011: El Loco

Our venue for lunch was recommended to us on twitter by Jedro, who raved about the tacos at El Loco in Surry Hills (see his blog review here). There's only one vegetarian taco on the menu, but there are also nachos and an intriguing sounding tofu, fennel and radish salad. Our big breakfast meant that $5 tacos were the perfect choice for lunch, allowing us a decent amount of portion control, so we steered clear of the other options.

These are messy little buggers, the fillings almost impossible to contain inside the tortilla. Still, the combination of chilli-marinated tofu, cabbage and pico de gallo meant that I was scooping up all of my spills to ensure I didn't miss a drop - this was a seriously good taco. There was something intriguingly smoky about the tofu marinade - obviously there was chilli involved, but the flavour was much deeper and more interesting than a simple chilli sauce. I couldn't place it, but it was certainly tasty.

The place itself is colourful and cute, decorated with kitschy Mexicana and bright tables and chairs. It all makes for a fun atmosphere, which you can escape from in the pub section if it's all too much for you. Discovering that the cantina area used to be the Excelsior's band room made me a bit sad - it's a pity that delicious Mexican food and live music can't coexist here.


How I Plop was a bit less impressed, at least partly because of their loyalty to the pre-makeover Excelsior.

El Loco

64 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW
9211 4945
Tacos $5, salad $12

Accessibility: El Loco has a flat entry and plenty of space and light inside. There are some high tables, but a decent number of lower ones as well. Ordering and payment take place at a low counter. The toilets are easy to access and not too tiny.


  1. My heart beat fast and then slowed down when I read that this place is in Sydney.

  2. I tried almost all of the tacos, in my opinion the tofu had the most exciting flavour and that "something" in the sauce you refer I suspect is hoi sin sauce, is that what you tasted??

    I did feel like a sell-out going there for tacos and not the live music which I love, admittedly i did put that in my tiny blogger footnotes ** so less ppl notice :)


  3. ps. loving the blog, esp the vego recipes, i'll be back to hunt through them :)

  4. Penny - I know! We'd much rather it was closer to home. :-)

    Welcome, Miss Jay! It could well have been hoisin sauce. I said to Michael at the time that the flavour, in combination with the mayo on top, reminded me of okonomiyaki so something salty-soy would make sense.

  5. i loved this place, it was incredible. i want to go back ... now