Last time I visited Los Mariscos with my wife Jun in the summer, the restaurant was out of gas and didn’t have any menu other than the ceviche. I was super bummed at that time because of all the great things I had heard about this Mexican seafood joint led by the team behind Los Tacos No. 1 in the Chelsea Market. Last weekend, Jun and I had some errands to run in the Chelsea Market so decided to make a return visit. The tiny space was absolutely packed with people looking to get their hands on food and margaritas on the earlier side of Friday evening, and we had trouble getting seated for a bit. If you are looking for a comfortable dining experience, Los Mariscos is not the right place, but Jun and I wouldn’t mind as long as the food is great. For both of us, Los Mariscos was the tale of seafood tacos (mostly delicious) and everything else (mostly NOT delicious).
First things first, the seafood tacos at Los Mariscos were quite good and also provide excellent values (fish taco at $3, shrimp taco at $3.50 and enchilado (spicy shrimp) taco at $4.50 apiece). Among these, our favorites were definitely the shrimp and enchilado ones, which offered very nice texture of the shrimp as well as complexity of flavor that could please any taco enthusiasts. Fish taco was also delicious, but didn’t have the similar level of impact that the shrimp counterparts did. Unfortunately, the other dishes that we ordered were pedestrian to bad. Shrimp ceviche was certainly fresh, but it was difficult to find anything particularly memorable about it, and the shrimp aguachiles (where shrimp was submerged in a cold broth with chili peppers, lime juice and cilantro) was too funky and citrusy for our palate to truly enjoy it (as Jun calls it, a “horrific taste on my mouth”). Maybe it’s because we haven’t really tried this dish before, but we know that we’re not coming back for it anytime soon.
Los Mariscos doesn’t accept reservations so if you want to avoid crowd, arrive at odd hours or be prepared to wait. The margaritas we had ordered were just OK. The lively vibe is the chief draw at this place where people can hang out with one another either sitting on one of the benches or standing up in front of the bar. Los Mariscos would be a good place for casual drinks with some seafood tacos on the side, but I’m not ready to endorse it as a place worthy of a full meal.
KenScale: 7.5/10 (Jun’s score: 7.5/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 7.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 7.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 8.5/10
Address: 409 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 920-4986