El Pastor, Borough Market
El Pastor is that reliable, easy going friend who feeds you with real, good advice that triggers something making you wonder why you didn't think it before. In this case, the advice is tacos and margaritas, and the thoughts before being, why isn't all food this simple and good?!
Buried under one of the arches, opposite Borough Market, their white neon lights indicate the tunnel to foodie heaven. Kept simple inside and a little industrial with some tins and bottles of the ingredients they use, a dimmish light and simple beats keeps your concentration on your party and the table.
A very decent mezcal and tequila list is on offer, though it's worth sharing a few measures of the potent stuff to really test your tasting abilities! The fail safe here though are the moreish margaritas - tangy, zesty, and with the right zoom from the tequila, and a salt lined rim - both on the rocks or frozen are delicious and addictive.
When it comes to the food, it's incredibly hard not to get carried away, even on the selection of homemade salsas. Best thing, bring a small share-friendly troop with you! The guacamole is smooth and fresh, opt for Chicarron if you're into lighter than air, pork skin. (Yes you are into this!) The tuna tostada is loaded with chunks of meaty and lean raw tuna, sitting on a little guac, and a suitably contrasting crispy tostada.
Of the taco choices, it's a tough one really as they truly are all very, very good. My advice though, get a range of meat, fish and veggie. For the carnivores out there, their veggie options will make your reconsider all that meat intake. Though not for long, especially if you go for the sharing carnitas or short rib - meltingly soft, smoky and spiced perfectly. The tortillas are all made in-house from scratch using native Mexican corn, and you can see the gigantic grinding machine above the chef's open kitchen at the back. Impressive stuff. One last thing, definitely get a quesadilla! Once you've had one of theirs with the real Oaxaca cheese, you'll wonder what you've been doing all this time with grated cheddar! It's a slightly firmer melt, a bit creamier and less strong in flavour - the better version of mozzarella if you will.
For dessert, GET THE E.P BOUNTY BAR! It's how a bounty bar should be - cold, near to frozen, fresh, rich and clean. A perfect way to finish the meal, alongside a mezcal or two of course.
All I can say is, if there's a queue, wait it out. There's a few pubs next door and quite often the wait is quicker than their lead time. You seriously won't regret it!