Tacombi

23 W 33rd St. New York, NY 10118 • (212) 967-5555 • tacombi.com

Tacombi looks and feels like a carbon copy of El Presidente about ten blocks south, in the Flatiron. Sadly, it doesn’t taste like it. Not that Tacombi is bad, but almost everything needs copious doses of hot sauce.

The best thing we had was the guac and chips. Fresh and well-seasoned with strong tortilla wedges that don’t easily break, have a slight char to them and solid depth of flavor.

Of the tacos, I’d say it was almost a three-way tie for mediocrity. The fried fish perhaps edging out a win simply due to the generous portion size. The shrimp was a very close second, and probably the most flavorful and balanced of the lot (which isn’t saying much) and bringing up the rear was the carnitas. So dry and lack-luster, Wilber would be embarrassed. Fortunately there’s an array of hot sauces on the table to make for the transgressions.

Not at lot of other players in the hood like it though, so I’ll probably give it another try come summer once the kinks are ironed out, after all, El Presidente was a little rough around the edges at the start as well.

 

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Red O

1541 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401(310) 458-1600 redorestaurant.com

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I know Rick Bayless is a name in the industry, but after that performance his name should be Please Cookless, because nada was bueno. Well, in terms of the food, anyway. The décor and energy (code for noisy) of the place is actually great. And they sport a nice range of tequilas should you want to go that way. They also have a pretty long list of cocktails as well, which I can only assume is designed to get you all liquored up so you’re awareness is impaired about the mediocrity you are about to eat.

Unfortunately the booze wasn’t enough to distract me from the piss poor service. Friendly for sure, but sloppy and slow. She completely forgot our guacamole order and missed on every recommendation, granted the fact that there’s nothing truly great on the menu makes it awfully hard to win in that scenario.

Amid the sea of asi asi (translation: so so) are the goat cheese tamales, which are okay on taste, but very mushy on texture. The duck taquitos, which were dry and tasteless, needing the addition of one of the salsas from the chips to give it moisture and make it worth half its salt. Oh, which reminds me… it needed more salt.

For the entrees, the shrimp and rice was “pretty standard” (to be read like Dr. Evil), the fennel lobster tails were a big ho hum and the NY strip with chimichurri, while the best of the three, is certainly no reason to come here.

Hell, they even managed to fuck up the churros, which are a foodie lay up, if you ask me. Way too hard and dry. And the chocolate and caramel dip wasn’t even close to being rich or flavorful enough to save them. But perhaps I’m to blame for not heeding the warning on the door. After all, “Zero” is right in the name. And that’s what this place is, a flaming red zero.

1 tooth

Truck

391 Old Post Rd. Bedford, NY 10506 • (914) 234-8900truckrestaurant.com

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They had me at Negra Modelo on tap. And they’ve held on ever since. It’s literally one of my favorite places in Westchester and tied for the best Tex-Mex in the area. Bar Taco is the other place, but they’re twice as far from my house, so on convenience alone Truck wins by a nose.

But Truck is so much more than Negra Modelo. Even within the drink department. For example their smooth and strong, margaritas (AKA The Power Wagon), which has a special version as well, that changes seasonally. Three of the best being the cranberry, grapefruit and blood orange. They are dangerously good. As in careful driving home.

As for the food, it’s also great. A few misses, but the hits far out-weigh them. My recos of awesome: Pork Taco, the Market Veggie Taco, Oyster Taco. All three are so good it’s hard to choose, so I don’t. I get all three. Skip the Chicken and Beef. They are both bland by comparison. They specials as well, like brisket and fish, but nothing has ever risen to the prowess of my previously stated taco trifecta.

The salads are also quite good, mainly because it’s all farm to table. So everything is fresh and local, and you can really taste it in every dish. Even down to the salsa, served with warm house-made chips. So good! The guac is also good, but a touch blah for my tastes. I tend to like my guac to be more eventful. Herbs, hot peppers, grilled, smoked, etc…

Another starter to consider are the corn dogs. Served with a VERY spicy mustard that I love almost as much as wasabi. Oh, and speaking of spicy, if you likey the heaty, be sure to ask for their homemade hot sauce. It’s muy caliente!

And last but not least, for dessert, I recommend the carrot cake twinkie, the chocolate dipped macaroons or the homemade mallomar/s’more things.  Skip the Devil’s Food Cake.

Also worthy of note is the decor and vibe. It’s rustic cool. With a great energy about it. And as far as the crowd goes, it’s a bit of a chameleon. Early on, from 5 to 7, it’s great for kids. But as the night goes on, it morphs into much more of a mature scene. We’ve come for both and almost enjoy it equally as if it were two different restaurants.

Thank you Truck. You are an AWESOME addition to the area.

5 teeth