438 E 9th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.727349 -73.983153
7 Days 12pm-12am, Brunch Sat & Sun 12-4pm
Neighborhoods: East Village, Alphabet City, Downtown
The reviewer must have been bribed – The restaurant was incredibly overpriced, the food was bland, the presentation was mediocre (they had a souffle which turned out to be a grey flan). Incredibly disappointing. Whoever reviewed the restauarant for Citisearch must know absolutely nothing about Mexican food.
Inaccurate prices, substandard food – We went to this restaurant last night for dinner, and my feelings about the food aside, the prices listed online are NOT accurate. All appetizers were 8 or 9 dollars, and the range of main dish prices were 18-23 dollars. The flank steak was $22. The chicken was $18.
Don't let the small selection fool you into thinking they adjust their menu based on season - they do not. All selections were winter appropriate, not appropriate for a hot summer's night. The restaurant was poorly air conditioned, so it was stiflingly hot during the meal.
Was the food edible? Perhaps. But, as someone who lived in Mexico for a year (and who is a frequent cook of authentic interior Mexican food at home) I assure you that this is not authentic at all. The food was simultanously overseasoned and bland (how you say? it's really difficult, but they managed it), and each dish relied too much on thick, viscous sauces to mask the main attraction (meat, dumplings, mushrooms - all doused in soupy, overpowering sauces).
If you are looking for authentic mexican, try someplace else. If you are looking for an affordable restaurant, try someplace else. If you are looking for a comfortable restaurant to meet friends, try someplace else. Bottom line? You get the picture.
VASTLY OVERRATED – My friend is from Mexico City so after reading the reviews on Citysearch, this sounded like a great hole in the wall spot to take him for authentic Mexican. HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. This place is indeed a tiny place that serves "Mexican". However, what it lacks is decent Mexican cuisine, any semblance of decor, sound quality, internal cooling and comfort. It is actually a bit depressing inside - there is a Mexican waitress who oversees all of the 5-6 tables and one chef and she is so overworked we felt very badly for her. There is no decor - old wooden tables that are so close together there is no privacy and not in a kitschy, clever way - and the lighting is yellowed and looks like it's from a bad E. Village apt. There is one delapidated speaker overhead that plays fuzzy Mexican music w/ the worst sound quality I've heard in a restaurant.
The food - not good. The guacamole was the best thing we tried. The goat cheese ravioli was hard (yes, hard), my friends' duck was drowning in sauce and my quesadilla looked suspect and was drenched from cheddar cheese oil. After about an hour there we decided to abandon our meals, pay and go eat somewhere else. This was a first after 8 years in NY. Our waitress was very sweet though.
If you live on the block and are hard up for quasi-Mexican food, consider this place if you're prepared to be underwhelmed. If you're looking for quality Mexican, check out Mexicana Mama, Rosa Mexicana (commercial, but excellent food) or Barrio Chino.
Wonderful atmosphere and food – Went on a cold Saturday evening at 7:30; the tiny place was empty but filled up as we ate. Decor was interesting and cozy. The music was Spanish-language and veered from rock to more laid-back tunes; it was never overpowering. All in all great ambiance. The menu really impresses, with innovative dishes that taste great with an interesting mix of flavors. The flank steak was highly recommended by other posters, and I'd agree, as it was so tender I didn't need to use my knife. However, I actually found the chicken breast (which my friend ordered) more interesting. Either way it's hard to go wrong; the corn crepes were a nice way to finish the meal.
My kind of place – I had been wanting to try this place for a long time. I love Mexican food and it's right on my very favorite block in the entire city. I had a great dining experience. The small size gives it a very personal and private feel. The food for dinner was totally interesting and absolutely delicious. A mix of very cool flavors and ingredients. My roommate and I each had an appetizer, entree and beer and our bill came to $70 with tip included.
It's the kind of tiny east village place that you don't really want anyone else to know about!
Unclean. Expensive. – The walls and floors were covered in c_ckroaches like those you see on shows like Fear Factor. We didn't see them until our meal was finished. They were inflexible about the menu, which was very limited, and on which there were lunch options that seemed much more tempting and reasonable than those on the dinner menu. The food was tasty - guacamole in particular - but was totally overpowered by the presence of so many bugs.Our check totalled 100 dollars plus 20 dollars tip for four to dine in a room smaller than most NYC bathrooms. I am not one to write reviews and I've never been overly picky, but the filth here was absurd - I signed up for a Citysearch account simply to warn others. Stay away.
Tiny place with great food – Excellent meal, and a very good portion. Their small wine list and sangria was also great. They also server some of the best guacamole we've had in NYC.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Past the purple exterior are a handful of tables amidst the slightly shabby decor--a mock temple created through intricate, 3D-patterned faux-stone walls and colorful bric-a-brac. The Central Mexican cuisine is more intriguing than the usual taco-and-enchiladas fare. Though guacamole zips with tart lime, and salsa bursts with fresh tomato, it's silky corn and mushroom souffle with a trace of truffle oil that best highlights Bello's gift. Knives are rendered irrelevant with hearty, brisket-like flank steak and moist bass encrusted with smokey, charred pumpkin seeds.
Amazing!!! – This tiny place is a real NY find. The food is out of this world, the service is friendly, and the sangria is the best I've EVER had - and I've sampled quite a few.
I didn't even get to eat here – We were a party of 3, and we walked in and the "hostess" tried to seat us in a table that was for 2 people. We asked if we could sit at another table which was 2 small tables with 3 seats, and she said "I told you to sit over there." After enountering that attitude, and the overwhelming heat in the place, we walked out.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Itzocan Cafe on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.