There is always a danger with hyped up new restaurants that people will try to knock them down before they’re even off the ground. “The food just isn’t quite there,” they will claim, or “I preferred the original.” Luckily, despite the fervent excitement ricocheting around Beijing’s in-the-know foodies before it opened, Taco Bar meets expectations and then some.

The long, narrow room seems designed with revelry in mind: whitewashed walls, long tables for groups, and the requisite write-on blackboard walls in the bathroom. Kick back and sip a potent on-the-rocks margarita (RMB 40) while the speakers play the kind of tunes that cool, hipster friend you have plays at house parties. Taco Bar serves messy, delicious food that makes you roll up your sleeves and forget you’re in (supposedly) polite company. That being said, this is not your standard Tex Mex joint; the food is more refined, more authentic. Rocky’s queso fundido (RMB 40) is essentially a Mexican fondue with chorizo, all the better to drip down your chin as you overload it onto the accompanying crisp tortilla chips.

But of course, the star of the show is the tacos (RMB 45 for three), which are petite yet generously filled. Our favorite, the tempura-battered tilapia, comes loaded with crispy fillets, topped with a heap of slaw and garlic aioli. A selection of powerful salsas is available if the heat isn’t enough for you.

With its easy-going concept and authentic Mexican flavors, Taco Bar has hit on a winning formula.

Photos: Sui

Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog