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La Verdad

So based on a few rumors that La Verdad (the new Ken Oringer/John Delpha Mexican place on Lansdowne Street - next to Tequila Rain/under Jillians) might be open, we ventured there last night to check and see if they were right. It is indeed open, although at least as of last night, they are not serving the whole menu. They had a few small plates and many different types of tacos available, but the large plates and desserts were not yet available. We started with guacamole - it was pretty good and came with awesome chips (the waitress said they were made in house with handmade tortillas). We next had "toro corn" - yes, the same corn as they have at Toro with the lime, cheese, spice, etc. Yum! It also made me wonder where they were able to get pretty decent corn on the cob in April. We each ordered a couple of different types of tacos - I ordered a baja-style fish one and a shrimp one, my husband tried the chorizo and carnitas ones. They were all very tasty and "fresh". We especially liked the fish and chorizo ones. I also really appreciate that they come separate since I tend like to try many different things. We also got two fish tacos brought over to our table to try on the house - I am not exactly sure why. The service overall was good - the only complaint would be slightly over-agressive bussing (they kept taking and replacing the essentially clean little plates we had in front of us), but I guess maybe they were just a bit bored since it was fairly empty but had lots of people working. Overall it was a pretty good deal - for two beers, a margarita, guac+chips, 2 ears of corn and 4 tacos of various sorts the total before tip was $38. I would certainly go back.

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  1. I unintentionally crashed one of La Verdad's soft opening nights this week: menu was limited only to tacos. We tried a couple of everything they had: carnitas, fish, shrimp, carne asada, chile rellenos, chorizo and potato, chicken pibil. No tongue, tripe, lobster, pastor, or turkey pastor, though those will be on the full menu. Four-inch corn tortillas loaded with the fillings and dressed very simply, like a tiny bit of avocado puree and chipotle mayo on the pescado.

    The menu also features a number of small plates (like the Toro maiz asado, which I love), and a bunch of larger ones (like carnitas by the kilo) served with piles of corn tortillas. It's kind of tough to gauge the value without knowing the prices. Despite a no-prices menu and a dining room full of local media personalities (ooh, look, there's Dickie, and there's that sad-sack drive-time radio guy whose job is to get the crap kicked out of him on-air by the alpha-dog DJ), it didn't dawn on me that we'd crashed a friends-and-family night until we tried to get a check.

    But I thought the tacos were delicious, especially the chile relleno, pescada, and carne asada. Not that it's a high bar to pass, but this is easily the tastiest dining option on the block. I'll be curious to explore more here when there are no Sox crowds about, especially if the prices are fair.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      i ventured in last week to a soft opening as well. of course the service needs some tweaking but it was nice to see some industry regulars there. interesting what the former Tiki Room has become. The same AMAZING Toro corn the bbq'd tacos were very yummy. I won't like, i don't necessarily like the dough for the tacos. i think the stand out front will be so much fun for the sox season, but i can't picture the place jam packed during the games. who knows. i have to say, my least fave was the margaritas :(

    2. Of the 10 types we tried, the ones I liked the most were the fish taco (very light crisp batter), smokey tongue/lengua (even though it's not as plump as the ones at Tacqueria Mexico), shrimp, rather innocuous tripe and clovey chorizo with potatoes. Major thumbs up for the grilled corn with spicy mayo. Tacos range from $2.25 to $2.70, expect to have 4ish for a meal. Very sauce driven. Guac was basic, would have liked a bit more spicey kick to it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: limster

        Even though I suspect that the meat ingredients are of a high quality, it was a little hard to tell because, as limster says, the tacos are sauce-driven -- not in a crazy way. But my favorites, the smoked tongue and the shrimp were probably my favorite, and I wasn't even clear that what I had eaten was shrimp! As others have said, the Toro Maiz Asado was delicious. I was disappointed with the guacamole, which I thought was a little flat, but I was more than happy to scoop up the remnants of cheese with the delicious chips. I'd like to come back when the full menu is up and running.

      2. I stopped in yesterday after the game. Didn't get to check out the food (because of the crowds), but did grab a round of drinks to celebrate the triumphant return of the Sox. The normally smooth patron was a tad hard to swallow when I looked at the bill. $15 each for a 2 oz pour of don julio or patron! I'll stick to the beer next time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: icculus

          We went last night and I wasn't overly impressed, while my husband was horrified. The staff seemed to not have any knowledge of food or drinks. I actually heard a woman trying to order a fruity martini. She was given a vodka martini with olives, and after complaining they threw the olives out and added cranberry, yikes. We heard them trying to describe some dishes as well and they fell short. As far as the food goes, we had the corn which was exactly like Toro's and started out with two tacos each. I had the fish and the carne asada. My husband realized he was going to need more than extra tacos and ordered a carnitas burrito, I ordered shrimp and chile relleno tacos. My husband wasn't impressed by the burrito, and claims he can get a far better burrito at El Triunfu. I actually really enjoyed the shrimp taco, though it was a bit saucy. I also had a decent margarita and a cold bohemia. On the way out I stopped in the ladies room and found out too late that there was no toilet paper. I washed my hands and there were no towels in the dispenser, but there was a roll next to the sink. I can not begin to imagine what this place will be like on game night, there were only about 10 people there last night and they appeared disorganized. I probably won't get to try it again as my husband says he will never go back.

          1. re: jules127

            I think it's premature to write a place off after one visit in the first few weeks of its operation. Some places never get their act together, but Oringer generally runs a pretty tight ship. Toro got off to a really rocky start service-wise as well, but it's much better now, quite worth visiting when it's not uncomfortably packed.

            I agree that you probably don't want to go anywhere near La Verdad before or after a Sox home game. But I suspect it might be worth a revisit in a couple of months' time, when they've learned how to restock the TP and paper towel dispensers.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Notice that I didn't say I wouldn't go back, but my husband is unforgiving!

        2. We're going tonight, so I'll be sure to report back.

          We were at Clio last night and of course I asked about La Verdad. Everyone's favorite taco seemed to be the tripe, so that will be on my order tonight. Some interesting facts I learned are the refritos are authentically made with YAY lard (from carnitas), they have a Mexican butcher who makes the chorizo himself, KO said he researched 40 different fish taco places up and down the west coast to arrive at the ones they have on the menu, and a new addition are tortas (they have Iggy's making the special rolls for these). E is already planning on ordering the torta Milanese. I'm really looking forward to checking it out, hopefully we won't have the same service issues as Jules127. And no fruity martinis for me - I'll be sticking to the Margaritas, or tequila. Hmmmm... I should have asked if they make sangrita...

          1. since it's near fenway, it begs the question... do they have tv's here?

            1 Reply
            1. re: iamsam

              Yes, we were there last night (we had a nice meal, I'll post later). I know there are at least two, one in each corner opposite the kitchen.