I wasn't sure what to expect to be honest. I'd heard rave reviews about El Loco, but not being a fan of Mexican food in general, I was only half interested.
As I approached, the first thing I noticed was that the once dingy Excelsior Hotel had been injected with new life and energy. At 7:30 on a Friday night, the music was already pumping and the place jam packed with people.
The restaurant, situated at the back of the pub looked fun and relaxed. There were a couple of tables on the street (Bellevue) with crates for seating. Inside, there were long bench tables but with the number of people I had to squeeze through to get in, I couldn't really get a good look.
On the menu were soft tacos (prawn/chicken/tofu/pork/beef), fish and pork tortas, grilled fish, minute steak, hot dogs, quesadilla and a secret taco. I was there to meet some friends who had already ordered one of everything on the menu. Before you balk, the tacos are about the size of your hand (okay, my hand) and are designed (I think) for you to smash down two or three (or four or five).
They were all super tasty, and with a margarita in hand, they go down pretty well. The husband liked the fish torta (burger) and hot dog the best, but my favourites were the prawn and beef tacos. I can't testify to how authentic they are, but I don't really care when they taste that good.
Hats off to chef Dan Hong. The place was buzzing and deservedly so. Would definitely try to come back for lunch one day.
If I had to complain about anything, it would be the margarita that I had which had a tad too much tequila in it (I realise that's a plus for some) and the bouncers who locked the side doors in at 9. It seemed like a safety hazard to have such a large crowd in an enclosed area with only one small exit at the front door.