Home > Mexican, Syd: Surry Hills, Sydney > El Loco, Surry Hills

El Loco, Surry Hills

Tacos – a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded and rolled around a filling. The filling can be anything really, ranging from beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese. Eaten with hands, it is messy and often garnished with salsa, guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

I have had a few tacos here in Sydney at taco bell, at Mad Mex and at various Mexican restaurant but it just didn’t live up to the standards as those that I tried in LA a year or so ago. I have tried making it at home, but its finding the right ingredients and using the ‘right’ tortilla that’s important.

So when I heard that Dan Hong was going to head up this Mexican restaurant, I was beyond excited! It was about time that Sydney has an authentic Mexican joint! El Loco is the new Mexican restaurant by the Merivale Group which is located on Foveaux Street where the Excelsior hotel is.

I heard from the chef himself that he went to LA / Mexico for a week. He tried all sorts of different tacos on his trip with Justin Hemmes as part of their research.

I was hoping to attend the opening night, unfortunately couldn’t make it as I was away for work. So when I came home the next day I was determined to go. It was date night with ‘The Mother’; I knew his love for tacos so this was the perfect spot!

I love the layout, the decoration inside

The hanging lights

The open kitchen, you can see the chefs in action – stressed and working hard!

I love the relaxed atmosphere, and most importantly, LOVED the music! I couldn’t help but sing and sway.

The menu is quite simple; five different types of tacos, hot dog, salad, sandwiches, grilled fish salad and steak. Unfortunately that evening they were only serving tacos – as they are ‘still trying to get organised’. Apparently for lunch that day, they were ‘ballz deep’ that Justin himself got his hand dirty and worked in the kitchen!

Started with complimentary corn chips with guacamole and salsa (usually $5) – thanks Dan!

The corn chips were light and crispy, and dipped in guacamole it was deliciously yummy. I love the creaminess and smoothness of guacamole – its how all guacamole should taste like! Demolished the guacamole, ‘The Mother’ even told me to lick the container, which I did – thank god no one saw me!

I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the salsa was like; ‘The Mother’ ate it all when I was ordering the tacos! Yes – he really does need to learn how to ‘share’.

We ordered one of each taco plus extra pork. I knew we weren’t going to be able to share the pork taco. All the tacos are $5 each and are served with cabbage, coriander, spring onions, salsa verde and pico de gallo. All tacos can be substituted for a lettuce leaf instead of tortillas.

Al Pastor – pork taco, grilled marinated pork, thought the pork could have been more tender but it was still good and satisfying!

Carne Asada – beef taco – tender and excellent.

Camaron – prawn tacos – scrumptiously good! Generous servings of prawns, slightly spicy and cooked to perfection.

Queso de soya – tofu tacos, my favourite of the evening! Bit size tender tofu with a hint of spiciness, I loved it! I could have definitely eaten another one or two.

Pollo – chicken tacos, probably my least favourite one, it was good but nothing special I thought. Could be because I ate this AFTER I had the tofu taco!

I love all the condiments that came with it, especially the pico de gallo – it was fresh, spicy with a bit of tang. YUM! The tacos were excellent, tortilla was soft but yet firm, it held all the ingredients together. The tacos themselves were messy, deliciously tasty and had lots of flavours. The tofu taco was the best taco I have eaten in a long time! It trumped over the pork and that’s saying something!

And of course drinks – margaritas, they were too nice and easy to drink. Two was clearly not enough.

This tequila drink was a little too strong for me, the margaritas was definitely better.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other dishes. The hot dog – Grilled pork Frankfurt served on a soft bun with pickled jalepenos, pico ge gallo, mayonnaise and cheese sounds divine.

Apparently on opening night, they made 3,000 tacos! That’s a lot of tacos and 300 tacos in 90 mins at lunch time! Well done Dan! ‘The Mother’ can see this pub as our local pub – scrumptiously good Mexican fare with margaritas and I can’t agree more! What more can a girl ask for after a long week away from Sydney?

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

‘The Mother’s’ rating: 7.5 / 10

El Loco

64 Foveaux Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9211 4945

El Loco on Urbanspoon

  1. May 21, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Tofu taco ?!?! Must make a visit to the land of tacos soon !

    • May 21, 2011 at 2:01 am

      @Mon: yes! Best tofu tacos!
      @fluffymakan: lol I have been waiting for it to open 🙂

  2. May 21, 2011 at 1:55 am

    wow you’re fast! how was the queue?

  3. May 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    So does “pop up” mean it’s not going to be around for long – it would disappointing if they didn’t stick around. Tofu Taco sounds interesting…

  4. May 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Love a good taco. Also great to know they were generous with the alcohol!

    • May 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

      hey adrian, thanks for dropping by! ya tacos were excellent.. will definitely be back soon i think!

  5. May 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    You’re quick on the newbies 😉 Mmmm, prawn tacos…

    • May 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      hey tina, thanks for dropping by! hehehe ya have been wanting to eat tacos for a while now 🙂

  6. May 23, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Wow this guy has so many things going on it’s amazing.

  7. Christian
    May 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    El Loco = El Stay Away

    My girlfriend and I participated in the grand opening of El Loco. The free tacos were tasty and the Coronas were all free!

    The week after we decided to pay the place another visit. We picked a table outside and waited for service. Nothing happened since there was no table service. So I went inside to place our order.

    I almost felt as I was disturbing the boy behind the counter when approaching. He did absolutely nothing to make me feel welcome and was grumpy and hardly looked at me. I placed my order and kindly asked if I should pick up the food at the counter or if the food was served at the table. In a rude manner he ordered me to go back to my table! I repeated the question and he answered me in a very rude tone : ”Just go back to your table!” What a jerk!

    When the food arrived they had forgot our taco chips. They arrived just when I had finished the mains. The fish sandwich we had ordered was tasty, but way to small for 12$. Two bites and it was all gone! The sandwich consisted of a dull standard burger bun with a grilled barramundi and a bit of lettuce. Not worth 12$ if you ask me. I left the table still hungry.
    We had to order our drinks in the bar next door (same establishment). Why send me two different places to order food and drinks and make me queue twice?
    After we had eaten one of the staff asked us to move to another table, so her friends could sit together.
    Not cool.

    Competition in Sydney is fairly rough. Not sure El Loco is going to cut it!

    • May 25, 2011 at 8:13 am

      hey Christian, thanks for dropping by! sorry you had such a bad service! the night we went were busy but the service was not bad at all and we could order food / drinks at the same place.
      not cool that you had to move as well but hopefully service will get better.

  8. May 26, 2011 at 1:52 am

    tortilla looks really soft and yummy to me

    • May 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

      hey obese baby 🙂 thanks for dropping by! yum the tortilla were soft and yummy!

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