Something You Should Eat: Shrimp tacos from La Lagartija

February 15, 2011

While I've enjoyed my tortas and salads at Bombon Cafe, as well as their legendary tres leches cakes (still have dreams of the mini rompope flavor), I never realized Luis Perea could also make amazing tacos. I don't mean just any tacos, like the so-called versions I've seen at some of the new "urban taquerias" or alleged late-night legends in Wicker Park and Bridgeport (here's looking at you, La Pasadita and Tacos Erendira). I mean places where they actually make the corn tortillas from scratch - thus, negating the need for stacking two thin, packaged tortillas together, when one will suffice - and assemble the little beauties with as much care and thought as those platos principales; where the filling isn't just an excuse to soak up alcohol, and the garnish goes a few steps beyond cebolla y cilantro and a bottle of Cholula hot sauce. (Yo Barrio, why even bother making flour tortillas for your seafood tacos? Your shrimp version is both anemic and embarrassing).

I say this, because I've had Perea's shrimp taco recently, at La Lagartija (the lizard), just a block South of the Bombon Cafe on Ashland. From the homemade tortilla, to the plump shrimp bathed in a Negro Modelo-infused batter, and the accompanying shredded cabbage, caper-laced aioli and ketchup-habanero that graces the top, this is a shrimp taco for the ages. Buen Provecho!