Supper in a sex shop
When you are paying over the odds in London for food that would cost a fraction of the price at some unwittingly chic backstreet restaurant in its cultural home you want the whole experience to feel like a sexy glamorous dream. Two hours of feeling like a beautiful person in a perfect other world.
Eating at La Bodega Negra hints at this. One starts at the exterior, the front of a neon-lit sex shop on the Charing Cross end of Old Compton Street. No hint of the activity below. So you enter and once you have checked in you are sent downstairs to the restaurant. Which isn’t like a sex shop or anything directly sex related at all. It is dark and dimly lit, tastefully so with some discrete corners and tables. Not a bad choice for a date. Except the two hour curfew per booking will put a stop to any beating around any bush.
The food; the tacos were good, specifically the steak. The chorizo tacos tasted nothing like chorizo. Perhaps that was the point…or not, in which case they were average. As was the guacamole - pretty average, no distinct flavour to report. The salsas were the most potent, added to the tacos to supplement the average dip. Hmm, I’ve now used the adjective average three times.
It gets better; we then had the sea bass and red mullet with green rice and patatas something. All very good - the red mullet was served with spinach, capers and a tomato sauce, gorgeous, tasty and fresh, enough to share between two. The sea bass had a lovely crust, no idea what this was of but very yum indeed.
I can highly recommend the watermelon margarita; clean, fresh and sweet but not too much so. So often watermelon is corrupted by the influence of sugar; here the taste was left naked and all the better for it.
The only downside was the service on drinks; the server came to our table with a sombrero round his neck which made him a bit like a student earning his keep at the local Chiquito’s or that dreadful restaurant in One Day (I was expecting beautiful Anne Hathaway to sweep in awkwardly in a ruined accent to check if everything was OK). It seemed to suddenly do the whole place a disservice which perhaps sounds picky of me.
Overall the service was very good though, although the table next to me did get served by three men all at once, all bussing low with their undercrackers and jeans. Perhaps I am showing my age and this is how we roll at fashionable Soho eateries.
All in all it was good and it looked like a stint at the bar would be fun too if there was no time or previous booking for food.
Arriving home after being spat onto the Central Line post dream I devoured two of my homemade cupcakes. It made me think of it as a twist on that line partnered people use to explain their choice to ‘eat in’; why eat out on hamburgers when their is steak at home? Perhaps it wasn’t too good a dream after all.