LA LUCHA: KREUZBERG'S NEW MODERN MEXICAN FOOD
Last week I was walking back from dinner and stopped dead in my tracks when I spotted this new restaurant. First of all, the gorgeous terrace with pink tables, the Mexican decor and vibrant bar- I knew I had to come back as soon as possible. I have found myself to be a bit of a Mexican food snob after living in Austin and am unfortunately typically let down by the attempt at authentic Mexican cuisine in Europe. La Lucha was a different story. The brand new restaurant has already become well known in Berlin and was completely booked solid on the evening that I went.
I remember growing up and my Nana from Nicaragua always made the best homemade tamales. I haven't had anything quite like them since, until La Lucha. The restaurant takes a modern approach on traditional Mexican cuisine. I got to sit down with the owner, Max, a young man from Holland, who is quickly making a name for himself in the Berlin food scene. He lived in Mexico for two years where he first found his love for the cuisine. He loved going to the street food markets where you have the options to order from several different stands and can share with friends your different plates of food- thus his idea was born. The concept here is that your food doesn't come out in any order- just when it's ready. Everything is made to be shared and enjoyed together, just like at home. The menu has a "selection" platter where it takes care of the ordering for you. It also offers plenty of drink pairings as well as a "tequila discovery flight" for those of you ready to get the weekend started. If you're with a larger group, ordering the pitcher of sangria is highly recommended- especially on those warmer days out on the patio. In addition to the tamales, I ordered the Eschabeche (the vegan ceviche,) the flavors were nothing short of innovative and mouth watering, filled with cauliflower, carrot and beetroot, along with lightly pickled hibiscus flowers. I also had the Taquitos Dorados- crispy tortillas with purple potatoes ( my favorite) , sweet potatoes, and chorizo wrapped inside topped with salsa verde. Don't worry, they also have tacos, burritos, and churros- yum! I found the menu fresh and unprecedented in Berlin. Make sure you make a reservation in advance- as they are booking up very quickly!