Table Talk: Toloache


251 West 50th St.

NY, NY 10019


Toloache stands for a flowering plant used in Mexican love potions. Here, at this lovely two-story Mexican bistro, it feels as if some of those concoctions have been sprinkled throughout the air. The dim-lit room sets the mood for a cozy dining experience, all while Mariachi music plays in the background. I was seated on the upper tier, which allowed me to enjoy the warm details of the mustard colored walls, decorated with Mexican tiles, art and rustic tin lanterns hanging from the high ceilings.

Chef Julian Medina brings us traditional yet gourmet dishes from his Mexican roots in this restaurant, which has been open for two years. Out of their three homemade guacamole options, I naturally had to try the unfamiliar Frutas ($12), which is exactly that. The guac with pomegranate, peach, mango, apple, and Thai basil was unexpectedly delish. My friend and I could not stop dipping the homemade tortilla chips into the chipotle infused salsa and then back in the fruit guacamole.

There are many options to choose from on the menu, but I’ll give you my faves. While the ceviches are just OK, the Quesadilla de Huitlacoche y Trufas ($14) with manchego cheese, corn, and black truffle fresh out of their wood-burning oven is fantastic. The star of this dish is the truffles and huitlacoche, which is a type of corn fungus and basically Mexico’s version of truffles. The tacos run the gamet from spicy lobster to Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers (about $11). The lobster tacos were just spicy enough to still allow the natural tastes to come through. And as for the grasshoppers, maybe next time. The last tasty meal I had was the Carnitas de Lechon ($26), which is roasted suckling pig. It was very tender and there was enough to be shared by 2 people. Of course, with all that heat and flavor, I washed it all down with a Sandia Partida, a tequila-based cocktail with watermelon juice.

Everything about this place gives you a warm feeling, from the temperature to the food and the service. It was love (and lust) at first sight.