Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina
Monday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
It wasn’t so long ago that I wrote about a taqueria; however, my experience at Los Cuervos was so unique that I have full confidence in revisiting the taco world this week. Planted on Kingsway, just west of Fraser, the Vancouver Foodie Team had no problem spotting Los Cuervos’ bright yellow sign. Yet, aside from the bold signage, this little taqueria has all the best perks of a hole in the wall – welcoming staff, bright and homey décor, and of course, sincerely amazing food. On a Saturday night, the place was filled with energy, satisfied guests, and lively music.
I say “sincerely amazing” to describe the flavours at Los Cuervos because you see the magic unfold before your eyes. Unlike many other taquerias in this city, everything is made to order. Deep-fried items come out crispy, while the produce is fresh and juicy. Despite the absence of pre-cooked ingredients, I was really impressed by the timeliness of our food. The chefs are masters in their open kitchen, their hands moving deftly from tortilla to salsa, pan to pan, plate to plate. Or, perhaps, was it the fantastic company that made the time fly by? Either way, I’m sure that you won’t regret going to Los Cuervos with friends!
We started with the Hongos, which is a folded tortilla filled with mushrooms, huitlacoche sauce, pickled red onions and feta. We tried it for the huitlacoche, which is actually a plant fungus that grows on corn species. For its subtle flavour and smooth consistency, it certainly deserves a more flattering description!
The daily quesadilla was featuring cactus – that’s what is disgusing itself as a string bean in the photo! I’ve never had cactus before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is similar to asparagus in taste, but was soft in texture, much like a well-boiled string bean. Served between layers of melted cheese, this disappeared from the plate in a flash!
I tried the Aguacate, I really did. I think I may have gained momentum from the first two dishes and wharfed down the lightly battered avocado, corn and black bean salsa, and jicama slaw…because there is no photo evidence to be found. As long as you caught “battered avocado,” then I think you’ll see why this one is worth your while.
I’m a huge fan of seared tuna and will almost always give it a try if it’s on the menu. The “Atun” was a little more cooked than I prefer, but only slightly. I definitely appreciated the generous portion of fish, especially with a spicy kick from the wasabi crema!
And of course, something classic. The Camaron encompasses a wonderful set of flavours with lightly battered prawns, guacamole, tamarind sauce, and pico de gallo. This is where a made-to-order mentality is truly showcased. The contrast of the hot crispy prawn with the cool guacamole simply cannot be created in any other way!
And just when we were ready to say goodbye, HELLO CHURROS. Firstly, we may have had some pull with the chef, so don’t be alarmed if your pile of fried dough isn’t quite as impressive as this. Portion aside, let’s talk churros. These sugared strips of joy are piped (like icing), cold, into a deep fryer. Made fresh, like everything else, they come to the table hot, freshly dusted with sugar, and served with chocolate or cajeta (caramel) sauce. If this doesn’t make you drool like an English bulldog, I’m not sure what will!
Does Los Cuervos take the taco for best taqueria in Vancouver? It’s a tall order, but I think they are fit for the bill. Speaking of bill, these plates ranged from a mere $3.50 – $5.00! It’s not everyday to find a restaurant that excels in price, atmosphere, service, and food, quite like Los Cuervos does. Hidden in the wall under a big yellow sign, you’ll find happiness on a plate…made fresh!