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Jan 4, 2011 11:34 PM

1/4/11 La Verdad's Menu and Chef Changes

As many of you know, I am an avid fan of La Verdad's fish tacos; easily the best I have ever had. Their carne asada and chile relleno tacos are also top notch;and the hand made corn tortillas are ethereal. Not big fan of the other taco fillings. Btw, we never eat in the restaurant, just the taco cafe.

Over our bi-weekly luncheon fix there the other day, we had a long talk w/ the manager and learned of many new developments. The recently arrived new chef was recruited from the Philadelphia fine dining world. He has changed most recipes (thank provenance that the fish tacos remain unchanged), with an emphasis on a la minute preparation.For example , the carne asada, which used to be marinaded chuck, cut up and pre-griddled, then re- griddled to order, is now skirt steak, marinated, grilled to rare; then regrilled a la minute,sliced and cut up to order. Each taco now has different set ups as to undersauces, drizzle sauces, greens etc. I.e. the duck tacos now have a fig compote and orange salad component. etc etc.

While we were excited to hear this news, we were not bowled over by the new samples we tried, though they were certainly interesting and an improvement(chicken tinga, pastor, duck). But the new chorizo they are making- was awful( had an old musty pimenton flavor and too much cinnamon). We used to love the refried beans when Enrique made them but the new refried beans are not an improvement; taste like they have BBQ sauce in them, with a distinctly red hue that should not be in great refried beans. And lastly, the world's best flan is no more. sigh. Maybe the food has improved in the restaurant part. I'll be interested to hear others' experiences w/ the changes here.

La Verdad
1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

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  1. One tortilla layer: showstopper for me. I hate tacos that fall apart before you can finish them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      The toothsome corn tortillas (handpatted and formed in front of our eyes) don't fall apart on us but if they did i would ask for 2 tortillas and they would smile and say ," sure!"

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        I've been denied a request for two tortillas there. Love Oringer's food in general, but that's a place I reserve for a quick pre-Sox tequila.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          well now's your chance to treat yourself>> new chef, all new crew!

    2. we just ate there for the second time since the kitchen change up. the beans are back to being delicious. the pescado tacos are still not changed from the original-YAY- and still fantastic. the carne asada has combined the new better cut of beef with the former chop and saute (maybe now grilled before)technique, and, though not as plentiful as before (cut back by 50% at least),is back to being excellent. Carne asada quesadilla still has not returned to its prior, better, version which included corn and mushrooms.

      9 Replies
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        I've always found the fish tacos to be way over-sauced, soggy tortilla and lacking the bright, crunchy-lime goodness of the fish tacos at El Pelon.

        I will say, though, La Verdad makes a very nice house margarita and generous guac/chips.

        El Pelon
        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

        La Verdad
        1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          But I hate corn and mushrooms and as such I don't understand why you keep harping on the lack of corn and mushrooms when clearly this new version is better. Why don't you just ask for it with corn and mushrooms. I couldn't be happier about the lack of corn and mushroom as all my mexican friends say they would never put corn and mushroom n a quesadilla, then again they usually ask me just what quesadilla is as the part of mexico they are from doesn't have quesadilla's and yet you keep tellling me they should have corn and mushrooms.

          1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

            well, 'clearly' is rather snarly. no need for that; i didn't intentionally insult you or anything.
            i'm so glad you prefer the new version. i never said 'they should have mushrms and corn'; that's simply what My Love prefers. Yep, certainly did ask for those additions yesterday but 'they don't have em'.

            More to the point, chick, since it seems that you have eaten there since the change in staff, why don't you post about your reaction to the changes? choose positive action instead of negative attitude.

          2. re: opinionatedchef

            I know next to nothing about mexican food, but I have found the fish tacos at Le Verdad underwhelming. The tacos at El Pelon in Boston are significantly better, and even those are nowhere near as good as the ones in San Diego. I've never been to Mexico, so I can't comment on authenticity.

            I guess this does imply, however, that opinions vary, which is surely the point of boards like this.


            1. re: trueblu

              oh boy, i look forw to trying those at el pelon. i keep forgetting about them since they moved. gotta find them.thanx.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                after going to el pelon , i remain a staunch fan of LV's fish tacos being the best in boston.LV uses haddock, a far better and more exp fish than pollock which i think is what is used at EP and why those fish tacos remind me of fish sticks (the fish variety itself, not the coating or the freshness of the fish, which is just fine). but i did find EP's pork carnitas torta and tacos to be super delic.

                last Friday at La Verdad (LV) we had the chance to taste some of the new menus items. The chilaquiles that come w/ the restaurant steak- are to die for(we didn't have the steak; we were in the cafe.).Perfectly cooked in a skillet; not too soft or too crunchy, layered w/ cheese and a robust salsa verde and chiles, topped w/ an egg. Eventually I'll get to Angela's to try hers but these at LV were pretty perfect! With luck, they'll add them to the cafe menu.Also, the new chicken tinga tacos and carnitas tacos are very well flavored. I particularly liked the addition of bean puree under the pork.

                the new chef, darrell, used to work in boston at hammersley's but then went to phila. where, for 8 yrs., he headed a number of latino restnts in central Philly. Talented serious guy, very excited to be on board to grow LV. His presence is reflection of Ken's goal to move LV- taqueria and restaurant- to a higher quality product. Less advance cooking and holding and reheating; more a la minute preparations. Also, a new north suburban satellite of LV will be opening in the next yr.

                btw, LV's previous chef, bruce(?) and sous, Enrique, are heading the kitchen at the new Lolita's on Newb. St. Hope to get there soon.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  The chef's name is Darren Carbone and he was in Boston for several years. He was Sous Chef at a private club, at Hamersley's and also at Aquitaine Bis. He is a very talented and enthusiastic chef. He worked for me at one point and I love him.

                  Aquitaine Bis
                  11 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

                  1. re: edgewater

                    go, edge!
                    sigh, all my life, i've mixed up the names darrell and darren.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      p.s. i figured out a way to remember. bobby darin. diff spelling but it's a good hook for me. great guy.

          3. We found out this week that they have stopped serving in the cafe portion until next spring. It is only take-out on that side now (though the adjacent regular dining room is per usual; opens at 5pm.) bummER.