My closest friends, those who I consider to be family, are proud Mexican Americans, and the culture they embrace is one I feel comfortable and at home in. I get nostalgic thinking about our college house, which was always filled with the smells of homemade tamales, corn tortillas burning on the comal, and piquant ceviche.
Our late night snack was always a large horchata and carne asada fries from small dive in Greeley. It’s comfort food to me and one piece of home I truly miss.
I stopped ordering ‘Mexican’ food from Thailand’s menus as it consistently turned out to be a pitiful disappointment, and in a few cases, barely edible. Several friends insisted that if I wanted Mexican food in Bangkok, La Monita Taqueria was the place to go.
I’m used to the real deal, so I’m a harsh critic, and although I’m a persistent optimist, my encounters here had led me to believe that good Mexican food in Thailand was a lost cause.
The amount of color at La Monita practically slaps you in the face; Mexico’s rich, signature color scheme radiates off the walls, creating a bright, yet upbeat atmosphere. It was small, but cozy, and luckily we had a reservation (necessary) because it was packed with a healthy mix of Thais and eclectic groups of foreigners.
I was tickled to see the menu containing the name all things familiar and delicious: tacos with all the options for meat accompaniments- carne asada, al pastor, chorizo, carnitas, chile verde, camarón– plus tortas, enchiladas, carne asada fries, and even tres leches cake and flan for dessert! Buen Provecho!
For the first time since I have been in Thailand, I saw Corona on the drink menu; however, I opted for a margarita which was exceptionally delicious and strong- and not too sweet like most Thai drinks.
One of the interesting items on the menu was an adapted, upscale version of Tacobell’s crunchwrap supreme, called the crunchstar. Although not an authentic Mexican food concept, it was creative, and I gave it some spicing up with some of the salsas from the self-serve salsa bar (a must for any taquería).
I also sampled the smothered burrito, or burrito mojado, as they called it on the menu (I’ve never heard it called a wet burrito, but apparently thats a thing). I practically inhaled it, as my deep-seated craving of Mexican food, or anything remotely close it, took over. The beans, frijoles, were subpar alone, but this was almost unnoticeable in conjunction with the other flavors I was scarfing down.
The average price was about 300 baht per entree (about $10). This is comparable to average restaurant pricing in America, but a small splurge compared to what I normally pay for a Thai dinner. However, for most people, it’s well worth the money as Mexican food is surprisingly a rare find here in Bangkok, even for as diverse as the city is.
On a scale of 1 to Mexican, I would give it a solid 6.5. The style was decidedly more Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican cuisine, especially with the Chipotle-esque excess of taco toppings. At the taquerías I frequent, I am used doctoring my own tacos with a squirt of lime and salsa to subtly enhance the flavor of the meat and onions…
But hey, were not in Mexico, or even Texas. I’ll take what I cant get here! The food appeased my rampant cravings, and most importantly, I enjoyed the atmosphere and hearing the ahh’s and mmm’s from satisfied friends. Panza llena, corazón contento.
What’s your favorite Mexican food? And equally importantly, can I find it in Bangkok? 😉