Brooklyn Welcomes La Loncheria for Contemporary Mexican Cuisine
Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood has no shortage of taquerias, as the area has long hosted a vibrant Mexican community alongside Puerto Rican and South American populations. But the neighborhood’s steady gentrification has created a demand for posher eats — one that the recently opened La Loncheria should help fill.
Chefs Danny Mena (also of Manhattan’s Hecho en Dumbo) and Luis Jiménez collaborate on La Loncheria’s colorful menu. Oscar Bernal heads a bar with, as one might expect, a selection of cocktails heavy on tequila and mezcal. The new eatery takes over a space on Wilson Avenue recently vacated by Sincerely Burger, adjacent to the delightfully experimental cocktail bar Yours Sincerely.
We previewed the new eatery the day before it opened in mid-December. La Loncheria announces its presence with a bright neon sign based on the restaurant’s assertive logo, and the bright space features a long bar with dining areas in the front and rear.
The bar menu features the requisite margaritas and cervezas preparadas, along with a selection of primarily Mexican beers and three curated boilermakers. House cocktails include the delicious Mojito de Matatlan, in which smoky Nuestra Soledad mezcal intertwines with mint liqueur, as well as the glass-aged El Broucklyn, made with Sotol Fabriquero, Dolin Dry, maraschino liqueur, and Angostura bitters.
The dishes presented at the media event were drawn from the menu, including a simple and crisp ensalada de jicama, the handsomely plated chilitos rellenos with tuna confit and preserved egg, and the rich La Niña Popov with lamb belly barbacoa, pickled tomatillo, and jus, uniquely complemented with black bean hummus. The standout dishes, however, were the camote (sweet potato) tacos, which featured an unexpectedly delectable vegan chorizo, and La Costra (“crust”), a thin, crispy crêpe of caramelized cheese wrapped in tandem with a flour tortilla around grilled mushrooms.
La Loncheria seems a well-conceived addition to its western Bushwick neighborhood, rich with street murals, galleries, and bars but now mostly stripped of any ungentrified edginess. The young creatives reshaping the neighborhood will likely enjoy knocking one back at Bernal’s bar and will certainly appreciate the creativity of Mena and Jiménez’s contemporary Mexican dishes.
For more innovative Mexican cuisine, read about the 75 best tacos in the U.S.