Arriba! Unusual margaritas at Mamacita

After several weeks of anticipation (actually only six, though it’s somehow felt like more), Mamacita, the new Mexican restaurant on West End Lane, finally opened yesterday evening. I was fortunate enough to be the first person through the door, greeted by owner Lorraine with a flower in her hair. Frida Kahlo, the monobrowed Mexican artist whose image has been above the shopfront for the past few weeks, would have been proud.

Even more proud no doubt to have the downstairs bar named after her. Last night’s very soft launch was for the bar only, with the café/restaurant upstairs open today for a trial run of the brunch menu. The full opening will be next weekend.

Last night’s bar menu was heavily focused on the margaritas, which at £6.50 each seemed good value and certainly carried a kick. We tried the classic, the pineapple & chipotle, the hibiscus and the passion fruit & violet.

I can recommend the classic and the pineapple & chipotle (odd combo, but works surprisingly well). The passion fruit & violet one wasn’t for me, and although I didn’t try the hibiscus one it got the nod of approval (from a chocolatier no less).

There were bar snacks available too, though we tried only the chilli & lime popcorn (£2) as we had a meal at Hidden Treasure to get to… and that’s another story…

  • Tony Penfold

    Two of us worked our way through the white wines – an interesting selection including an Italian Moscato, an Aussie Riesling and a Portuguese Chardonnay. They were all good quality/value but the Chardonnay got the biggest thumbs up. We accompanied them with an avocado dip. We shall no doubt return to try the reds and I look forward to the restaurant opening.

  • Love the atmosphere – can see myself settling in downstairs for a while when the weather turns cold! Our margaritas were hit and miss – I had the Hibiscus, which was delicious but my friend couldn't finish her blackberry one, which tasted more like BBQ sauce than fruit. However, will most definitely be back to try the food when it's opened up properly.

    • Mamacita

      Hola my lovely – thanks for coming in the other night. Thanks for the note – we've updated the menu to say Smoky Blackberry'. The reason it's smoky is that it has Mezcal rather than Tequila – and Mezcal is very smoky & earthy by taste. As always – if somethings not to your taste, just let us know and we'll make something different for you.

  • Mexicobird

    I enjoyed first opening night in Frida's and tried the guacamole which was rich and chunky. Haven't tried the coffee and cakes yet. Enjoyed Chardonnay most on my half of wine tasting whilst watching vigourous cocktail shaking. Have recommended already. ****

  • Anonymous

    A couple of months I was very excited about having a mexican restaurant just around the corner. I believe good mexican restaurants are quite rare in London, so I was crossing my fingers to have a good one just where I live. I tried it today for lunch and I have to say that I was quite disappointed… I’m sure that they could do better. I strongly suggest to avoid sweet corn in the quesadillas… and also the huge amount of cooked onions… Anyway, I hope that this is just because they are testing their menu. I have to say that the place is very cool, I love the funky mexican style! I will try the margaritas, maybe cocktails are their strength!

  • I must try this! As a pretty nifty Mexican cook myself, I hope it's good.

  • Anonymous

    Mamcita, please improve the juices and drinks upstairs. We had a nice brunch at one point but the juice was just from a packet, not fresh – there’s no excuse for that when you’re charging a fair amount for simple drinks, and these little details count.

    The food was good though, and we’re excited to see a new independent restaurant opening up. We’ll be going back to try it again.

  • Anonymous

    We (two couples and a three year-old child) dined at La Mamacita on Friday, 4 October. The food and the feeling of the restaurant was great, and we really hope this takes off – it is a nice, non-“chain” contribution to West Hampstead’s high street. The only suggestion is that the already very friendly and knowledgeable wait staff may want to consider regularly clearing occupied tables of used glasses and dishware, and taking additional orders.

    Otherwise, please give this place a try. Let us hope Mamacita stays for many years and prospers, while the McGrocery Store, McReal Estate Agent, McBarber or McRestaurant goes somewhere else.

  • Anonymous

    I have had warmer service in the arctic!
    Went with wife and newborn for lunch on a fairly quiet Saturday, waitress giving us attitude as to where we should sit. They walk past our table (by the coffee area) without even checking on us for 30mins; food when it came was decidedly average and about as honest as a David Cameron; £2.40 for a thimble full of coffee, really?
    After 10 years in Wham, I was excited about a cool little independant launching, but with aggressive service, average food and terrible value there are 4 better alternatives within walking distance. Wham has spoken which is why I see the place mostly empty during Sunday Brunch; I won’t be rushing back.