Waiting your turn for a table is not a cataclysmic life experience. (Depending on what city you live in). When an eatery does not take reservations be cunning in your timing or take your chances and patience. Get your name down on arrival at Lucky Lupitas, but her insides are small, so you may be left out in the cold ot high and dry. Popcorn is ferried outside for you to munch while you wait. (At El Topo in Bondi Junction, you can order roast crickets to crunch on).
Once seated, relax in cosy quirkiness with chilled lighting, fun Latino background music (not that much in the background) and mismatched everything. The staff are casual and dressed so. Co-owner and chef Greggory Hill is from the USA, and named by the Washington Post as “a pioneer of Nuevo Latino cuisine”. In his restaurant you have to read the writing on the wall, “Mexican people don’t eat burritos, chilli con carne, or wear sombreros”.
Street food is what LL’s peddles, and at the sight of hamburguesas with chipotle mayonesa I am tempted to hit the road, in Mexico. Baby-soft browned buns patted with sesame seeds are skewered to hold patties with smoky jalapeno mayonnaise, salad, coriander, Dijon and horseradish. Soft corn tortillas are filled with the likes of guajillo lime braised duck with orange panela, red cabbage and onion, basil and coriander, or crispy snapper with lettuce, grilled pineapple salsa and more of that jalapeno mayo. Sides of “elote”, corn cobs rolled in the chilli mayonnaise and cheese then grilled with lime are sensational. “Tostones” - twice-cooked plantain (think banana) chips planted into a bed of black bean mash are not bad either. Enjoy them with some playful “refrescos” - tamarind flavoured Mexican soda, Red Pig beer, a watermelon margarita or tequila cocktail.