El Diablo’s Burritos
The buzz: There are only a handful of Mexican restaurants in Bangkok, and even fewer that are any good. So we’re intrigued by the opening of El Diablo’s, especially since the original branch in Chiang Mai is quite popular. Tucked away on a small Soi connecting Sukhumvit Soi 24 and Soi 22 (near the Davis Hotel), this colorful cantina does almost everything from scratch, using the owner’s personal recipes.
The décor: There’s a pretty festive, freewheelin’ atmosphere inside: a simple, small room with details like a big longhorn bull skull, a yellow Dia de los Muertos skeleton mural on the wall and several oxblood-red wooden tables.
The food: Almost every dish is homemade, like the tortilla chips (B125), the rich guacamole and fiery jalapeno sauce. There are also enormous and cheesy quesadillas (cheese B150, grilled chicken, shredded chicken/pork, chorizo B215, carne asada, B245), nachos (B150-B245) and tacos (B70-90). Or you can go for the eponymous burrito with the usual filling options, such as rice and beans (B120), grilled vegetables (B150) or chicken and pork (B195).
The drinks: Lots of margaritas. Try the knock-out margarita (made with Jose Cuervo, B150 a glass or B1,200 for 10 glasses) or have a round of shots (Cuervo B100, Cuervo Gold B125, tequila slammer B100). The selection of beers goes from Beerlao dark (B145) to Corona (B190).
The crowd: Office buddies, expats and residents in the neighborhood. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet
This brightly colored little shop house is actually the sister branch of the popular eatery up in Chiang Mai, and it looks to recreate some of that place’s ramshackle charm. Unfortunately, the location doesn’t really help: sat on a cut-through between sois 22 and 24 it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. So, despite the vivid walls and festive touches, the place can feel a little gloomy on a quiet night—though maybe that’s just the creepy Dia de los Muertos skeleton mural on the wall. On our last visit, the lack of customers meant we got attentive service, but the hovering wait staff also made the small space a little uncomfortable. At its heart, Mexican food is pretty rustic homemade fare, and on that front, at least, El Diablo’s is on the money. Whether its dishes are particularly authentic is more debatable. Still, we appreciate the no-nonsense menu, covering just one side of an A4 and sticking to the standards. To start things off, the tortilla chips (B150) are certainly crispy, and clearly homemade, but they’re also a little too translucent and greasy. On the other hand, the accompanying dips are a pleasant surprise: the guacamole is fresh and rich while the jalapeno sauce is fiery and full-flavored—even if purists might bemoan that both are blended to a smooth consistency. They clearly like doing things their own way, which means, with the exception of the tacos, everything is slathered in pico de gallo (an onion and tomato salsa), jalapenos, sour cream and cheese. It’s a tasty, but not particularly subtle, approach and can be rather overpowering. For example, we struggled to tell if the quesadillas with chorizo (B215) really contained chorizo at all, and the thick topping tends to make the flour tortillas soggy and greasy. The nachos with shredded chicken (B215) fare a little better but are still an artery-clogging battle to finish. The more manageable tacos (chicken, pork, chorizo, B70) at least demonstrate a little finesse, with a fresh, well-balanced flavor. With affordable prices, an OK choice of beers and some potent margaritas and tequilas, we could well imagine popping in for some drinks and a taco if we lived round the corner. But as a flag bearer for Mexican cooking, it certainly won’t be worrying the likes of La Monita just yet.
|Address:||El Diablo’s Burritos, 330 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||July, 2012|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 10:30am-10pm|
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