Where the Taco Bar dazzles, Lucky Lopez satisfies. Where Lucky Lopez satisfies, neighbouring joint Flash Burritos and Tacos is an exercise in tempering your hopes and dreams. It’s a Mexican restaurant in Jianwai Soho, so you’d be foolish to come with high expectations; even so, it still falls short.
The brightly painted walls do make the bland Soho retail space bearable, but we imagine the business is putting great faith in its delivery men rather than expecting diners to come for a sit-down meal.
It’s difficult to resist the temptation of 7RMB guacamole, but the chemical aftertaste and microscopic portion mean you won’t make the same mistake twice. Meagre measurements are again encountered when trying the chicken quesadilla (25RMB). The cheese is sparse – almost sinfully so for a dish that at its roots has two ingredients: tortilla and cheese. The rest of the filling erupts from the wrapper in an unbalanced proportion.
The delight of carnitas comes from the simultaneous achievement of juiciness and crispness in the simmered pork. Here, the carnitas tacos (23RMB; two per order) arrive soggy and unsatisfying.
After such transgressions, you might be tempted never to forgive, but don’t be too hasty. Everything – well, nearly everything – has its time and place. The steak burrito (39RMB) wouldn’t be a bad midday diversion from office drudgery in the CBD if you ignore the few gristly bits of meat in the mix. For the price, the burrito is serviceable – just don’t expect anything too flashy.