This one is for all of my SoCal & Texan readers! Dinner at Florencia 13
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 1:23PM
The Lady Who Lunches in RIP: NYC restaurant cemetary, Restaurant reviews

*NOTE: This restaurant has since closed.*

"I think I've met my match," I replied, via email, to Erin, of Gluten Free Fun.  For someone who has lived with Celiac Disease since she was two years old, Mexican food is one cuisine that is relatively seamless for Erin to enjoy.  So, with that very important tidbit (coupled with my undying obsession for the cuisine), we chose 'Florencia 13' as the venue of choice for our upcoming dinner date.

Habitually, I arrived at the restaurant about 15-minutes prior to our meeting time.  I was told that I could sit wherever I pleased, including one of the two al-fresco tables, and that someone would follow me with the cocktail list.  "Thank you," I replied, "I really need a drink."  I grabbed a seat outdoors and, although the restaurant was offering a $5 house margarita, I opted for something larger.  More potent.  It was one of those days, and I figured that a $13 drink wouldn't kill me.  The margarita that I was served immediately proved that I received my money's worth: approximately 12-ounces of premium tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, Cointreau, and lots of salt. 

After just a couple of sips, Erin arrived.  Due to the mild chill in the October air, we chose to dine indoors and were seated immediately. 

Although Florencia's interior space is on the smaller, more intimate side, the restaurant houses a decent-sized bar, located in the middle of the dining room.  The atmosphere is warm, casual and, strangely, sexy, in the fact that the lighting is dim enough to where you can be on a date, still look hot, and actually evoke a spark.

A basket of warm, salty, handmade tortilla chips and the best salsa this side of El Paso, TX. coated our stomachs between sips of our margaritas and food menu perusal.

The menu at Florencia, just like the name of the restaurant, itself, is very East LA-centric.  Think: dishes named after famous areas/streets, such as Echo Park, Boyle Heights, and Mulholland Drive.  With so many items to choose from, I ultimately decided to order the 'City of Angels,' which is a combination plate that comes with your choice of three items: a hard or soft-shelled taco (with choice of filling), enchilada (with choice of filling), or a chile relleno - plus rice, beans, and guacamole. 

Per the above picture, I will begin with the bowl of refried beans and move clockwise in my descriptions: 

Conclusion: for the first time, in the history of my 7.5 years of living in NYC, I *finally* feel like I've found myself a 'home' at a restaurant.  I think I realized this when, upon reading the cocktail list, I noticed that one of the margaritas, the Homie-rita, comes with a collectable Homie doll (...a line of cholo/a figurines that I used to collect at home, as they were available in the 25-cent machine at grocery stores.  From Yankee territory, you can purchase Homies online.).  Yep, that basically sealed the deal.  Initially.  And then came that solid margarita, followed by those handmade tortilla chips and that amazing salsa, the beef taco, Spanish rice, chile relleno, and, last but not least, the down home, friendly, laid back service.  What a winner. 

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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