Looking for a casual spot for dinner, my guest and I decided on the newest La Taqueria location at The Amazing Brentwood. We both live nearby and find the upgrades to the mall amazing, with plenty of parking and large popular restaurant properties, such a this, moving in. And La Taqueria has some prime real estate here with its open restaurant space and patio spilling out into the main courtyard. A great spot to people watch and be seen on this sunny summer’s day (when we visited).
Given the vibes we started with a couple of drinks. My guest went with the classic margarita “El Clásico”. Tequila 1800 Blanco, Cointreau, Agave Syrup, and Lime Juice. This was exactly as expected, a tangy and zingy lime cooler. Simply salty and strong. You know what you are getting here and it delivers.
I on the other hand am more adventurous so went with The “Sayulita” with 15 Flor de Caña 5 vt, Wray & Nephew, Lime & Pineapple Juice, Horchata, Toasted Coconut Falernum, and Ground Nutmeg. This was a tropical and creamy drink with horchata as its base. The pineapple starts and finishes the cocktail. This has a baked note to it thanks to the warming spices. With it you get your spirit and dessert all in one.
And hearing my guest has never had a Horchata before, I had to order one to share. I often describe it as the bottom of your bowl of cereal, where all the cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla settles. Tasty, but not my favourite rendition, I like it thicker and on the sweeter side for more desert than drink mouth-feel.
When it came time to order we would follow the same route, my guest the “safe” classic, and myself gravitating towards the more unique and that which I have never tried before. For example I was highly interested in all their “fondu” options, which basically read like a build you own taco at your table situation, but with a bowl of melted cheese to dip into.
However we would decide to keep it steady for my less adventurous dining companion, and the nacho platter happily fed us both. In fact we would clean the tray of all its chip crumbles and melted on cheese. Something you don’t see often with restaurant-made nachos.
These are baked in-house corn chips nacho topped with a trio of cheese, refried beans, poblano peppers, sweet corn, caramelized onions, sour cream, pico de gallo, and a cilantro & chipotle mayo. This was a thin layer of thick chips, and there was enough sauces and toppings that we didn’t need to exercise the add-on of any salsas or shredded meat.
My guest went for her “usual” the Enchiladas Verdes, three tinga de pollo enchiladas with salsa verde, crema, red rice, queso fresco, onion, cilantro, pickled daikon, salsa macha, and melted mozzarella cheese. On the mild side for my tastes, this was lightly seasoned shredded chicken breast meat, rolled into a warm tortilla, and smothered with a mild tomatillo salsa.
I had to try the “Birriamen” for the novelty. A bowl of birria tatemada brisket broth with handmade rice and corn flour noodles, and a soft-boiled egg; all topped with pickled onions, julienne raw onion, and cilantro. Christened with a crispy birria taco on top.
There was a good amount of hearty spice to this, but I still found myself reaching for the hot sauce included on the side for some additional punch. The thin and oily beef broth was probably the best part. The taco got soggy quick. The meat in the noodle bowl was tough and unseasoned, and the broth not pungent enough to enrobe it. The noodles were also too dense to be paired with such a thin broth. It drank more like soup than a flavourful dip for the taco and noodle combo. A great fusion idea, but it just didn’t execute in my books.
In closing, this is a great addition to the Brentwood area, and the only Mexican and taco option to feed the community here. Plus they have one of the hottest summer patios in all of Burnaby.
La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop
4580 Brentwood Blvd Unit 1210, Burnaby, BC V5C 3Z6