I find myself on the eastside about once a week, and I am trying to take advantage of it to eat at a few new places. La Escollera was a place I have wanted to try for awhile, and I finally got over there. It is funny—it sort of reminds me of La Parada in a way. It is an older looking building cheerfully painted and with two long thin rows of booths down the front. There was a Mexican talk show blaring on two tvs, which completely set the mood.
My server was really nice and brought me a basket of warm chips and salsa right away. I liked that the chips were clearly made in house—there were bubbles in the layers of tortillas and they were really nice a crunchy. The salsa was also quite tasty—it didn’t taste very hot, but after you ate a few chips with it, it built up a bit—not so much that your tongue was on fire, but just enough that your mouth started to feel warm.
For my lunch, I wanted to order ceviche, because supposedly this place sort of specializes is seafood, and I was planning on ordering the fish ceviche, but when I ordered it my server asked if I wanted shrimp or fish and then I asked which was better and she was pretty adamant about the shrimp, so I thought I would go with her suggestion. It was actually a ceviche tostada, on a crispy flat round tortilla. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t feel like there was a lot of lime flavor, which you sort of expect from a dish that is supposed to be cooked in lime. There were lots of chopped tomato, onion and cilantro as well, but it just was good, not great. The slices of avocado across the top were perfectly ripe though—I would have loved a couple more. I also preferred eating the ceviche with the chips, which were tastier than the tostada shell which didn’t seem homemade. The shrimp was not as plentiful as the similar version I had at La Parada, and they were a little tougher.
I also got a pastor taco ($1.75) and a lomo taco ($2). I really enjoyed the pastor taco a lot—it was bits of the marinated pork in two soft corn tortillas and topped with onions and cilantro and a wedge of lime on the side. The meat was well seasoned, but not hot and still was for the most part really tender (there were a couple of pieces that were a little hard on the edges that I didn’t eat). I especially liked it with the lime and some of the salsa verde that she brought out to me to go with everything. This was by far my favorite item. The lomo taco, which is the same set up with seasoned grilled ribeye inside didn’t fare as well. The meat was in pretty big pieces and was really overall tough and with some really hard edges—it made it pretty near impossible to eat. After a couple of bite I sort of gave up. The tortillas themselves were really tender and tasty though—sometimes if they are too dry, they detract from the meal. These were warm and moist and perfect.
I would really like to go back though and try more of the seafood items—they have several that sound intriguing, but just a little much for me for lunch. But the chips were really good (as were the salsas) and so was the pastor taco. And while I didn’t note every price, my whole meal, including a soda, was under $10. The service was really friendly and fast. It is a place worth stopping into, and if you do (or if you have already) tell me what you have and what you like so I can plan my next visit. (Also, if you have other eastside recommendations, I welcome them too!)
5834 East Washington Street