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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Salvation Taco

The hot new spot in Murray Hill is without a doubt Salvation Taco.  It's interesting that April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's restaurant is constantly packed because it is nothing like the places that typically attract crowds in Murray Hill, meaning they've actually paid attention to decor and food quality and have shied away from a frat house vibe.  This different vibe draws in all the people who would otherwise head down to the East Village for a trendy dinner.  I admit, that's usually what I do, but I like having a fun place just steps from my own apartment.

It's a Mexican joint, but I use that term loosely.  The Moroccan lamb on naan "taco" we tried should probably not be classified as such.  Did that make it any less delicious?  Not at all.  What's in a name?  A taco by any other name tastes just as good in my opinion.  The curry cauliflower taco took our taste buds in a completely different direction, this time with a homemade tortilla.  The curry flavor was not overpowering - more noticeable was the flavor of the cauliflower brought out by roasting it.  The tacos are two-biters so I would recommend getting a bunch of things to share.  My father immediately gravitated to the ceviche as a side dish.  I loved the inclusion of jicama as it added a new flavor beyond the accustomed citrus.  The pork rinds on top served as a reminder that the restaurant's roots are in re-mixed Mexican street food.  My pick was the pork belly and pineapple salad.  When I was lucky enough to form a perfect bite with a piece of pork belly, pineapple, and cilantro I was rewarded with a salty, sweet, juicy moment.  The last thing we ordered was sort of an add-on but was probably our favorite dish of the day.  The grilled lamb tongue torta used bread light enough for the delicate meat to stand out but crispy enough on the outside that it didn't fully break down when coated with a garlic herb oil.  I think the tortas may only be available during lunch so it's worth it to try this place midday.

Can Murray hill sustain a place so trendy?  Not sure, but I hope so.

Bonus: there are ping pong tables.

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