Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fonda de la Madrugada, Harajuku

My friends, I am a changed and converted and (further) humbled man. There is an OK Mexican restaurant in Tokyo. And it's exactly where everyone said it was. In a basement in Harajuku that distorts time and space.

As we went into the basement, my expectations actually increased. It's well-nigh impossible to find decent Mexican in Tokyo, to the extent that I gave up years ago. But this stairwell, in all its cheezy Chi-Chi's glory, got me thinking that someone had really taken the effort - to get the decor right if nothing else. It feels like you go two stories down a spiral staircase, then you get to the reception desk, and then go down another level to the dining rooms.

The decor persists - stucco, rustic wood, colorful serapes, bull heads, Mariachi bands, and significant quantities of Latino service staff (not part of the decor. Please respect them.). Our waitress, who was Argentinian and may have been part Japanese in the bargain, got us margaritas (blue for me, of course. I always drink blue margaritas.) and we got busy with the menu.

Just watch it here, OK? You can easily overload on food. We got this guacamole and fortunately nothing else. But it was totally fresh and significantly tasty, and the chips were made pretty freshly. You couldn't make much better than this at home (which is supposed to be praise). I like the wacky saturation on this picture since it's lightened up a lot - it's dark and atmospheric down there.

In addition to blue margaritas, I do kinda always get this case I felt a bit nostalgic for France, and thus got the Tricolor Enchiladas - red sauce, brown sauce and green sauce. Just kidding; the green one is salsa, the brown one is mole, and the red one is red. The chicken stuffing was a little dry, but on the whole this made me say "Hey, it's mexican food!" Mentioning the downside quickly - these enchiladas are Y1900. I'll leave it at that.

Completing the order, it's roast pork! Less juicy than it looks, like the chicken in the enchiladas, but the beans and (additional) guac were both quite proper. The mariachis came around at this time to play Happy Birthday and some other favorites for a neighboring table, and we took our cue to hoist back up from the table and stagger ponderously up the stairs.

I apologize, but I feel I have to use this line: Olay!

1 comment:

  1. Looks good. I've heard good things about these two Mexican restaurants also.

    Salsita (Minami Azabu)

    Junkadelic (Kami Meguro)