La Monita Taqueria
Handsdown the best place for a quesadilla or fish taco.
With its green tables, matching benches, orange walls, and Mexican flag hanging from a wall, La Monita’s décor is like a stern reminder that Mexican food isn’t big on presentation. And if your experience of Mexican were previously limited to the joints in this town, you’d be forgiven for expecting something a bit stodgy—filling, satisfying even, but not particularly inspiring. But you’d be wrong. La Monita is packing some serious fireworks and manages to do so at super affordable prices. With your first bite, probably into a homemade corn tortilla chip dipped in guacamole, it becomes clear that La Monita’s food is not just comforting; it’s exciting. The avocado is creamy goodness, the onion’s flavor fresh and crisp, the coriander sharp and bright and it’s all perfectly seasoned with just enough lime and cumin. The burrito, which usually means lots of carbs and greasy meat, is here a complex, almost airy sensation, with its luscious cream, brilliant guacamole and tender steak. Perhaps our favorite, the Mexican-style soft corn tacos are where La Monita’s full potential is expressed, even if you’re now familiar with the high notes (plenty of coriander, lime and onion). As for the fillings, why not just get all three: shrimp, beef and fish. Not everything, admittedly, is as successful, like the empanadas, a slightly oily cheese and meat pastry. But this is no single-page menu, so it’s easy to shop around for what you do like. Service is generally admirable, given that La Monita is so successful they at times have to rely on a colorful cast of characters to wait on you: the bubbly khun nuu friend, the teenage dishwasher, the guy from the kitchen dressed like a Latino cowboy. In fact, that familial atmosphere is much of La Monita’s charm. Diners range from Tex-Mex-starved yanks to Thais who can switch effortlessly from their mother tongue to English as they pick up their Blackberry—and everyone seems thrilled by this shared secret, that they’ve all discovered the place serving the best Mexican food in Bangkok.