Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi is a taco fiend and shares her favorite taco hot spots in New York City.

on Mar 25, 2008

For a complete transcript of Padma's Vlog, jump to Page 3. Part 1:

Part 2:

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Part 1:

I was really excited about the Quickfire because I love tacos. I can tell you where, you know, every Mexican restaurant is within a mile radius of my house here in New York City. And I am a taco fiend, so I was really excited to have Rick Bayless on.

You know there's a difference between a street taco and a high-end alta cucina taco or haute cuisine taco, but they have one common denominator which is taste, and which is the crunch of the taco, and the little portion of the taco. So even a street taco has to be tangy, and spicy, and juicy, and slightly greasy, but not so greasy that you can't eat a bunch of 'em and feel sick. So, I don't think there's that much difference between a street taco and an haute cuisine taco. I would think that the difference would be in technique, in the knife skills, and maybe in some, you know, much more luxurious ingredients -- you know cause you're paying more, you're in a fine dining environment. So it was really nice to see that, and I was really surprised Manuel didn't do better on that. I really was. I fully expected him to ace it. And that was very telling, and not in a good way.

The best taco in New York is at Barrio Chino or La Esquina. They're all down in the Village, in SoHo, or in the East Village. There are tons of good taco places. I'm not going to tell you all of them because then I won't get a reservation, but those are two good places.