Party Earth Review One might not expect to find an A-list celebrity hotspot with an unlisted phone number lurking beneath a greasy spoon Mexican taqueria in the desolate No Man’s Land between SoHo and Little Italy, but that’s just one of... ... read full review
114 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
4, 6: Spring Street-Lafayette Street
Taqueria: M–F 8am–5am, Sa–Su noon–5am
Café: M–F noon–midnight, Sa–Su 11am–midnight
Bar/Brasserie: 6pm–2am; Brunch 11am–4pm
Chinatown / Nolita, New York –
One might not expect to find an A-list celebrity hotspot with an unlisted phone number lurking beneath a greasy spoon Mexican taqueria in the desolate No Man’s Land between SoHo and Little Italy, but that’s just one of many surprises in store at La Esquina.
Opened in 2005, this basement den of debauchery still packs in a fashionable, and sometimes famous, crowd of trendsetters, affluent artists, and folks from the fashion and entertainment industries.
A weathered brick-wall vault adorned with cast-iron gating and Mexican tile murals illuminated by thick column candles in iron chandeliers lead patrons to the speakeasy’s entrance inside the kitschy 50s-style taqueria, where they’ll then be put through the third degree by a zealous host.
The chosen few granted entry pass through the bustling kitchen and into the exclusive bar and brasserie to discover a wall of tequila comprised of the more than 130 varieties that provide the fueling force of the bar.
After choosing their poison, guests can retire to the banquettes arranged under the chandeliers in the small front alcoves or make their way through the iron-spiked archways to the main dining area for a low-key meal.
After the dinner crowd departs, the real action heats up as the DJ spins indie, house, and Latin grooves that get the stylish clientele on its feet.
Patrons looking for an affordable meal can certainly find it in La Esquina’s taqueria or sit-down café upstairs, but only the chic downstairs brasserie offers the ultimate experience of partying with the cool kids – a group known to include the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, and Jay-Z.
All types for the taqueria and café. For the bar/brasserie, A-list celebrities, New York notables and tastemakers, wealthy elite from the worlds of art, fashion, and culture, and well-known names from the downtown art scene, 20s to 40s.
A house DJ spins Latin, soul, funk, house, and indie tunes.
Three dining areas include the taqueria for affordable food to go, a casual café, and the exclusive downstairs brasserie.
Taqueria menu: elotes $2.50, tacos $4; Café menu $8–$16; Brasserie menu $12–$28. Beer $5, wine $8–$12/glass or $32+/bottle, cocktails $12+, mixed drinks $10+, shots $13+, serving of three tequila tasters $34.
No dress code for the taqueria and café, though they tend toward downtown chic. For the bar/brasserie, stylish ensembles from the pages of Vogue to the windows of Barneys.
Mondays for a fun and funky party vibe. Fridays and Saturdays for the biggest crowds, though they come with the longest lines.
Southside (1 Cleveland Place) is a hot club with trendy A-listers and a tough door just down the street.