• Taqueria La Llorona

    Cochinitas Pibil

  • The Bar

    Over 25 varieties of Tequila and Mezcal

  • Chilaquiles

    Chilaquiles are found all over Mexico and offered with meat, cheese and other toppings. La Llorona chooses to use them all

  • Making Tortillas

    The Tortillas at La Llorona are house-made, a rarity in Valencia!

  • A bottle of handmade Mezcal

    Chef Gloria refuses to offer 'cheap' booze, instead focusing on a variety of Mezcal, like this handmade by Oaxacan producer, Domingo

  • Comfort Food

    Tacos, Chilaquiles and Sope with frozen Margaritas and assorted salsas

Taqueria La Llorona

In a city that can sometimes seem impossible to find flavors that truly kick, Jose Gloria and his team are turning up the heat at Taqueria La Llorona.  Having traveled the globe and worked in some of the world’s finest restaurants including Il Cortile (Alan Ducasse), Le Grande Vefour (Guy Martin) and London’s Fat Duck, the Mexico City native has remarkably decided to keep it ‘real’ at his second endeavor in Valencia, serving up street food from his home town which is sensationally authentic.

Don’t cast the place off as just a lunch spot though.  While your tastebuds are fooled into thinking they’re on a different continent, the rest of your senses remind you that you’re still in a modern European city.  The space, which is artfully decorated with Dia de Los Muertos artwork and a scant bit of Mexican tile, is otherwise minimalist chic, where it would be just as at home in New York, Copenhagen or Barcelona.  Similarly, the plates themselves receive the touches of a chef who is classically trained, with all the mastery of color and composition that one would expect. Brilliant pink pickled onion decorates the carnitas, and tiny, uniformly chopped chives, float effortlessly on top of salsa roja.  While authentic, this ain’t Tu Padre’s Taco stand.

Paper thin radishes garnish the Sope at La Llorona.

Paper thin radishes garnish the Sope at La Llorona.

Still, here comfort food is king.  Kick it off with the Sope, a house-made, soft and chewy corn tortilla topped with earthy black beans, slow cooked chicken breast, crisp lettuce, queso fresco and citrusy salsa verde.  Or, try the Chilaquiles, a classic dish found all over Mexico eaten for both brunch and the late night, post bar crawl.  A mound of house-made fried tortilla chips, smothered with chicken, cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato, spicy salsa, and of course, a soft fried egg, which upon pierced with your fork, releases it’s creamy yolk into the whole ensemble.  Perfection accomplished.

Of course, you can’t visit a Taqueria and not eat tacos!  Regional classics are all here, from fish to tongue, and come with an assortment of salsas that allow the diner to determine their own fate – a mild pico de gallo for those with a more ‘sensitive’ palate, or a fiery salsa roja made with Arbol peppers and oregano for those who like to break a sweat while they eat.  Our favorites include Tacos Al Pastor, with it’s tender chunks of marinated pork made slightly sweet by bits of pineapple and Cochinita Pibil, juicy, slow roasted pork marinated in achiote and topped with pickled onion.

A plate of Tacos al Pastor

A plate of Tacos al Pastor

Alas, we’d be remiss if we forgot to mention that all of this can be washed down with your choice of Mexican beer, hand squeezed frozen Margaritas or a handful of other speciality cocktails.  Of course, since we are still in Europe, never fear, wine is still available for die hard oenophiles.  For the grand finale, spirit connoisseurs will love the extensive selection of premium Tequilas and handmade Mezcal, some of which are the only specimens to be found in Spain, and possibly Europe.  Vamos Chicos!  What more could you ask?

 

 

A quick interview with Jose Gloria

Q:  What do you eat when you’re not working…your guilty pleasure?

A: KFC.  Spicy.

Q:  What’s your favorite childhood meal?

A: Milanese…and Tongue also

Q: If you could spend the day cooking with another chef, who would it be?

A: Wow, there are so many..when I was in school I would have said Michel Bras.  The way he was thinking and the way he was cooking at the time, for me was really impressive…but right now, on this day I could tell you hundreds of chefs…there are so many!

Q: Favorite band?

A: Pearl Jam.

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?

A: I’m extremely organized…my wife makes fun of me because I have to fold all my shirts the same way, by same color…everything has to be very organized.  When I cook with guys that are not so organized it was tough for me, to tell them do things ‘this way’ and to be clean..someone can be the best cook in the world, but if they’re not organized and clean I can’t work with them.

Q:  Is there an ingredient that you’re currently obsessed with?

A:  No.  I like everything.  I think when you focus on one thing and forget about other ingredients you miss some experience.

Q:  Is there anything else you want the people to know about you?

A:  No.  I don’t want the people to know about me. (smiles)