Anyway... I heart this place. And I hear that the owner is bringing the concept to London. Cool..
I was so excited, I began telling friends. Pretty soon a group I'd whipped up into frothy enthusiasm about a night of tequila-related debauchery with a side order of Mexi street food were gathered. It was cool. I was cool. It hadn't opened yet and before you know it I'm bringing my gang. Like a hipster Robin Hood, a rock'n'roll party planner, I get my people to talk to their people and look for a big table on a Saturday night in May. I get the email below back. I win.
"All sorted Rich. Your table is now booked on 5 May at 9.30pm for 8 people. Have fun!" Get the hell in. We're the In Crowd, before the In Crowd realise it.
However things haven't started well. What grew up as a (moderately) undercover word-of-mouth frenzy over the pond arrives here with a fully-formed PR engine. A couple of weeks in and you can't open a style page without seeing models / actors / s'lebs falling out of a cab into the arms of a passing taco. It's sat on a popular street in Soho and the crowds swirl, EVERYBODY knows about the new 'hidden' eatery behind the oh so risque sex shop entrance. Not cool.
And the reviews... Oh the reviews. Poor, mixed or meh at best. Coren was broadly positive, but described the atmosphere as 80's disco try-hard. In between namedropping his guests, it inspired AA Gill to one of the most excoriating notices I've had the pleasure of reading. Wild sea-bass was described as akin to "growing antibiotics on a panty-liner"... If you can pass through the gilded rope of Times paywall it's laugh-out-loud funny.
So when I got a call from the restaurant on Friday 4th, looking to confirm a table for that evening and NOT the following evening as per the email above, I wasn't exactly devastated.
I was annoyed with them initially for right royally bollixing up my Saturday night. Very annoyed. Not cool guys... What the hell are you supposed to do with 8 people on a Saturday night when they've been promised white hot cool tequila dancing and wild crazy off the hook Nooo Yawk times? This was exacerbated by the reservations manager telling me that it can't have been possible for me to have made a reservation for the 5th in the first place, due to a block booking on the night that had allegedly been there since before they opened...
Thankfully, it wasn't a problem in the end... Enough people had read the reviews not to care, and the frothy enthusiasm had diminished in the cold light of several hundred quids' worth of tequila menu. It's probably not even the place I think it is, there's probably been a few mill spent on a diversionary hidden Mexican restaurant so that when the real one opens, no one uncool will know about it... Anyway, we went to the pub instead. Cool.