El Califa

When famous Pujol chef Enrique Olvera craves some tacos he goes to Taqueria El Califa! That says it all! This is my tacos place of choice, in Mexico City and in the world! I come here every time I am in Mexico! There are 10 locations across the city, they deliver until 4am and they are open until 4am so you really have no excuses to miss it. This is the perfect late night joint (I’ve been there for lunch at noon and was the only one and I’ve been there for dinner at 2am and it was packed!) and on top of it all it is super affordable like most things in Mexico!

The presentation is often underwhelming but the flavors are all there!

Things not to miss are the tacos al pastor (with pineapple of course), the queso fundido (with Rajas or with mushrooms), the Chicarrón de queso (to be eaten with the onions and cilantro side you get), the Gaona taco, the Rib-Eye taco and so much more. They also have very good Horchata drinks and fresh juices like orange with chia seeds…

Here’s what I had for my lonesome noon lunch today:

Mr Taka Ramen

I’m always a seeker of good pizza, good espresso and good ramen, although I am not nearly as experienced or picky about the latter as I am about the former two.

Opened a little over a year ago by a Japanese owner, Mr Taka (admittedly not a great name) is the NY outpost of a Tokyo establishment of the same owner(s) which bears a different name, thankfully. The NY location is sunny, bright, open and feels pretty spacious even though it only has 4-6 tables and two counters (whole restaurant probably seats 25-30 people max). 

Ever since discovering Mr Taka, in NYC’s Lower EastSide, I’ve been taking all my japanese friends and clients there to see and hear their reactions and everyone seems to love it, which makes me feel good about my approval and love for this place.
Today I took a Tokyo rock band of 6 native japanese musicians here, so it was a great opportunity to take pictures of a few different bowls as well as hear their opinions, which were all very positive (although one of them said “special”, which sounds a bit like a lost-in-translation translation of when Americans say “interesting”… hmm).