In each city I visit, I religiously try to seek out the best it has to offer, not only with regard to fashion, but also food. There are a handful of places that are rather special to me for filling my plate and my life with beautiful memories shared with family and friends. In Fort Worth it’s Taverna and the vegan eatery Spiral Diner. In Dallas, it was Dralion (anyone remember that place?) Southlake: Trulucks, Washington D.C.: Legal Seafoods and Peacock Cafe.
I’ve been actively searching for that special place in Austin and I think I may have found it in La Condesa, a contemporary Mexican restaurant anchoring 2nd and Guadalupe. Whenever I strolled by, I found myself inexplicably drawn to it, the dimly lit interior masked by a soft veil of opaque curtains, the delicious aromas and music wafting, no, beckoning, on the breeze each time the door drifted open. And then there’s that curious blue staircase, bathed in the most deliberate shade of aqua, suspended in mid-air, mysterious, almost reverent. Interestingly, the staircase is positioned in such a way that anyone visiting the Malverde bar above La Condesa has no choice but to pass through the restaurant.
I finally stopped by La Condesa for dinner with friends. Inside, the amalgamation of wood, steel and glass is softened by sensuous lighting and a subdued palette of beiges and browns. Award-winning and A-List ready, you almost expect a credible starlet to descend the aqua staircase to dine amongst the other beautiful patrons.
Once seated, I ordered my usual glass of water with cucumber in lieu of lemon and the “Guiso de Hongos y Epazote,” or mushroom tacos. My friends and I struck up a lively conversation and shortly thereafter, our meals arrived. I continued to politely and attentively listen until I took my first bite. Then, the room went still, the lights faded and words fell silent. There was no one and nothing else in the room but me and my tacos. I swear, my spirit left my body, ascended that blue staircase, and I saw Jesus. In the club upstairs. Chillin’.
What I am trying to say is that these mushroom tacos are unbelievably delicious. Any meat eater would seriously consider vegetarianism after trying them. On my other visits I’ve also tried some of the crab appetizers and a watermelon martini. Glorious.
If you’re in Austin, I’m telling you, you must experience La Condesa’s immaculate confections.