Opened towards the end of last year, Los Sotano is, first and foremost, a dark and underground (literally) bar specialising in tequila. It’s quite tricky to find – either walk to the back of Cali-Mex on D’Aguilar or look for the secret back entrance (hint: it’s a red-eyed skull you’re after) – but it’s worth it once you make your way down below. Miami-based artists have decked out the digs, with a glow-in-the-dark Frida Kahlo taking pride of place in the dining area.
Most people are here for the massive tequila menu (80 varieties to be exact) – with one priced at an eye-watering $3,000 a shot and another designed by Oscar-nominated Mexican director Guillermo del Toro – plus the mezcals, craft cocktails and nightly DJs. But Peruvian chef Abel Ortiz A, who also heads up the kitchen at nearby Latin American bar and restaurant Picada, has recently revamped and expanded the food menu, so you can head to Los Sotano for a full-on Mexican feast too. The menu features a varied aperitivos (starters) selection and a newly launched La Parrilla (Mexican grill) section, along with mains and desserts.
When it comes to Mexican restaurants in Hong Kong, Los Sotano may not have the same cachet as, say, 11 Westside in Kennedy Town, but we enjoyed our meal here just as much. The portions were generous, the flavours were toothsome and the spicing was spot on. Here’s a look at some of our favourites (images courtesy of the restaurant as it was impossible to get even halfway-decent pictures in the dimly lit space):
The key to these tacos ($50 each) was the authentic homemade corn tortillas. We especially enjoyed the classic al pastor, sweetly spicy with roasted pork and grilled pineapple, and the pescado, with crunchy beer-battered fish accented by mango salsa and pico de gallo.
A twist on the usual pork carnitas, these duck carnitas ($340) could easily serve four hungry dinners. We loved the fabulous texture and taste of the duck confit.
The tequila USDA rib-eye ($360) was tender with great depth of flavour, but what made the dish for us were the punchy chimichurri and fried jalapeño accompaniments.
The meat on the sweet and smoky barbacoa beef short rib ($490) was melt-in-your-mouth stuff.
Oftentimes vegetarian mains are on the boring side (hello, mushroom risotto), but we’d be willing to bet that this vegetarian lasagne ($190) would convert any carnivore. The earthiness of the spinach and mushroom filling was enlivened by a sensational three-cheese blend (Parmesan, Monterey Jack and queso fresco).
The chef is onto a winner with this waffle taco ($80), stuffed with a simple but delicious combination of ice cream, berries and chocolate sauce. We only wonder why someone didn’t think of this concept sooner.
Though its quite close quarters when eating at Los Sotano, the food is worth it. With the great drink menu and the beer (and white wine!) taps on the tables, we’d recommend coming here for a fun night of feasting and boozing with friends. The prices are on the higher side, but this is LKF after all, and everything is meant to be shared.
Basement, 21 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 2970 3887 (entrance on Wing Wah Lane)
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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