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Aug 22, 2005 10:14 AM

Florencia 13 - Real Deal So Cal Mex?

  • t

While flipping through the Village Voice last night, came upon a small ad for a restaurant touting itself as "So Cal Mexican food," - Florencia 13 on Sullivan and Bleecker. As an expatriat of San Diego on the constant quest for So Cal-Mex, I was immediately intriged. When I took a peek at the Citysearch reviews, I was even more so - NYers from CA raving about the authenticity.

Has anyone been here??? I am getting myself over as soon as possible, but would love to hear some reviews, as well as any other Cali-mex recommendations...

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  1. Finally someone notices this little joint! As an LA native and recent NY'er I've been holding back a review for further input, but it is promising. Note that it’s not a down-home taqueria. Décor is pachuco cool, and prices are higher than you’ve probably seen for food of this authenticity. The owner is an OG from South Central, and yes claims to be a former member of the infamous gang Florencia 13 (that's 'trece'). Don’t let that prejudice you, he’s an effusive host, very eager to hear what you think of his food if you tell him you’re Californian. When I was there I had the tacos al pastor, and they were as good if not better than El Tulchingo on 10th Ave. They came topped with pineapple slices, which though I’ve seen this before didn’t really work on this version- a detraction from the generous, sweet-sour pastor sauce. I’m told they usually serve the tacos with a slice of radish and a lime, but the radish was absent on my visit. You might have to remind them for yours.

    Take a look, then report back on your own! Go now and insist on the real deal before it becomes Manhattanized, good for nothing but an overpriced margarita. (the Voice ad is a bad omen.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Spoony Bard

      I met the owner of Florencia 13 last night at the Shade bar on the corner of West 3rd and Sullivan. I was talking about being flat broke and wishing I could get a great dollar taco; perhaps a taco de cabeza or lengua or sesos or buche or birria...or, perhaps a great fish taco. He told me all about his growing up in LA and about Florencia 13. We both like some of the same fish taco joints in the LA area, such as Taco Nazo and Wahoos (though these are totally two different styles of tacos). I asked him if he served radish with the tacos, with perhaps some pickled carrot and jalepeno. He hadn't been doing so, but seemed very receptive to the suggestion. He described the fish tacos and they sounded Baja authentica. I'm sure they're more expensive compared to LA, but what isn't.