Mexico is a haven for food fanatics with its fantastic street food, impressive collection of gourmet dining options and availability of pulse and vegetable focused traditional dishes that please the vegetarian and vegans alike. Here in London the most recognisably Mexican dish is the burrito, and even that is an American invention. And still, we feel the big hole Crazy Hommies left when it closed its doors in Notting Hill a few years ago. But thankfully, we are now seeing the rise of Mexican food offering with more true-to original restaurants popping up here and there, such as Casa Pastor.
El Pastor, the ancestor of Casa Pastor, has already established itself as a decent taqueria with a modern take on Mexican street food and seems to have embarked on a journey to replicate what Dishoom has achieved for Indian food. Their second location, Casa Pastor, is in the enviable Coal Drop’s Yard location in a massive industrial setting with the added benefit of a huge courtyard (Plaza Pastor) to draw the crowds.
Casa Pastor serves tacos and quesadillas made with with tortillas made from scratch, in-house, along with fresh salsas with varying degrees of heat, Mexican beers, and mezcal. So far, so good. The menu has decent enough vegetarian options (another tick) but all the veggie options include an incredibly delicious and velvety smooth Oaxacan cheese, but stripping out the dairy means that dishes will most likely fail to impress vegans. Of all the food ordered on the night (we must have ordered pretty much everything on the menu as a big group of both meat-eaters and vegetarians) we are happy to report that the plain quesadilla with Oaxacan cheese and the mushroom taco were the two best dishes – and they were really good. The portions, however, were small, so you might need to order more than one portion to fill hungry stomachs. After numerous margaritas and multiple orders of the many of the same dishes we left happy, but with a pretty hefty bill to pay.
For us, Mexican food is always a yes. Whether for a big group or just winding down after work, Casa Pastor is a safe bet in a trendy and welcoming setting. Just watch out for those margaritas.