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Mexico City moves to the East Village
La Lucha possibly the new Lucha Libre heavyweight

When I first moved into New York, I was trying to not live like a tourist, or a hated member of the B&T crowd (not saying the whole B&T crowd is hated, but you all know who you are. Grow up, behave yourselves). So I ate at local restaurants in my neighborhood, always vowing to do my best to never go to the same place twice until I had really gotten a taste for the neighborhood. So I did that. And for the first two weeks, everything I had came with fries - even the fries seemed to come with fries. Then I made an effort to move away from that trend, which was hard – American diets may be varied, but fries seem to be the New Yorkers’ lifesource. I branched out, and found myself immersed in Mexican food. There are so many Mexican restaurants in this city, and, as curry is to the English, Mexican seems to be the staple ‘not sure what you’re in the mood for? Let’s get Mexican’ culinary experience. I never want to see another burrito, or chimichanga, or quesadilla for a long time.

Yet last week, on my way home, I stopped at a new restaurant that was under construction. La Lucha had caught my eye for all the bizarre artwork and décor. I don’t often see luminous pink leather chairs, especially not in a Mexican eatery. If I do see that, I definitely don’t expect it to be accentuated with silent movies, as well as posters and figurines of famous Mexican wrestlers…

The owners all grew up in Mexico City, loving the excitement of Lucha Libre (explains the décor I guess). An integral part of Lucha Libre was the pre-fight Taqueria - a gathering place of down-n-dirty, vividly spicy and tasty Mexican comida, which is what the folks at La Lucha are aiming for.

With Benny’s Buritos, Rubens Empanadas, La Palapa, and plenty of San Loco’s in the area, another Mexican eatery is not what the East Village needs. Unless that cantina can live up to its promises – this is Mexican street-food done Mexico City style. There are no burritos on the menu, just tacos and botanitas (dishes to share). The jury is out, but they’re already on my radar with their eclectic style and beautifully low prices (the most expensive dish on the menu is $6).

When you do step through the threshold, try to remember you're more Nacho Libre than El Santo...