Soi 11’s Mexican "speakeasy" claims Bangkok’s largest tequila selection.
How seriously should you take a place that proudly calls itself the sexiest Mexican restaurant and bar in Bangkok? The answer is not very. Los Atico, the spinoff of Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong-hailing Los Sotano, came into Bangkok with guns blazing. The pre-opening team promoted the hell out of the people who crafted its cocktail and food menus (but wouldn’t actually be making the stuff you ordered) while promising a “classy, cool, vibrant spot with the city’s best tunes.”
Now that the initial rush is over, we’re left with a crushed red velvet version of Señor Frog’s, plunked down in an urban setting. All that’s missing are the wet T-shirt contests. Judging by the toxically masculine language used in the marketing materials—like the hackneyed poem about a woman named Linda who ends the night “under some dude” that’s used to describe the equally tasteless Tequila Makes My Clothes Come Off (B450)—we wouldn’t be surprised if they whip out the hoses sooner than later.
That aforementioned margarita cops its name from the neon sign that presides over a quasi-secret third-floor space above fellow Hong Kong export Cali-Mex. The “tequila makes my clothes come off” emblem—a line that sounds like it belongs in a country music song blasted from the backseat stereo of a guy named Chad who’s spring breaking in Daytona Beach—colors the whole room hot pink and lets you know what you’re in for.
Dining here feels like eating in the black-lighted confines of a frat house. As the speakers pump trap, ‘90s rap and reggaeton, you tuck into insipid bites like jalapeno poppers (B190), which, on our last visit, came out cold and soggy. The pescado taco (B110) was equally soggy, and the single tortilla it came on fell apart under the weight of the filling. Meanwhile, the crispy pork belly tostada (B250)—which is about 70 percent tostada to filling—was anything but, laden with flaccid hunks of pork, a too-sweet reduction and bland guacamole. The salt that should have gone into the guac must’ve ended up on the rim of the margarita glass. About the only thing that hits the mark is the al pastor taco (B220), but after working your way through milky ceviche Vallarta (B340) and carnitas tacos (B110) that have the texture of canned tuna, why bother? But, hey, the original margarita (B390) isn’t half bad.
We can’t help but think we would have been better served if this space had been turned into a proper agave-focused hideaway, like Hong Kong’s Coa, instead of Hooters on holiday in Cabo.
|Address:||Los Atico, Cali Mex, 26, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 4pm-1am|
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