The Living Up to the Hype News: DigBoston recently called the Baja-style seafood spot the latest Southie "destination," brought to the historically working-class neighborhood by "the slow, creeping hand of gentrification." Well then. But Yelpers who mention the "hype" surrounding Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar concur the new restaurant lives up to it. "Yes, the folks at Lincoln have done it again," one commenter posts. "The creators of Lincoln in Southie have produced their next baby and it lives up to the hype," says another. "This one will be busy for a while but I truly can't wait to go back."
About That Busyness News: The new taqueria does not take reservations. During opening week, one guy says his wait time was only 30 minutes. But another guest says the "VERY flustered hostess staff" lost her party's name on the waitlist — after three hours.
The Atmospheric Conditions News: Eater's Katie Chudy describes Loco's bar as the focal point. "It takes up the entire center of the restaurant, providing lots of seating options for thirsty guests," she writes. But not everyone with opinions appreciates that large bar. "Although the space is cool looking, it isn't functional!" one Yelp user reports. "While we were having dinner there were people three lines deep at the bar right up at our table. Wasn't great ambiance for dinner." That's the only review that disses the ambiance, though. Despite one's account that "a moderate yell is required," people of the Internet dig the low lighting and wall decor. Several Yelpers deem Loco a great spot to take a date.
The Salted Rim News: With 41 mezcals and tequilas to choose from, "this is the kind of place where I can get into some trouble," UrbanDaddy muses. A Yelp users comments on "A+ cocktails" and describes the Little Devil margarita he ordered as "the type of cocktail you cannot make at home." Many of the wines and beers travel to Loco from great distances, with a menu heavy on Mexican and Latin American cervezas and Spanish wines. But it's a well-cultivated list that includes a few solid American craft beer choices, and the house-made juices and mixers should appease your inner locavore.
So, How's the Food? News: Oh, right. Food. Obviously, Loco's concept is tacos and oysters. While perhaps the two seem like strange bedfellows, as one early Chowhound chatter suggests with sarcasm, the raw menu is sensibly heavy on ceviche. The brains behind Loco told Boston Magazine they're aiming for a lighter, "Southern California take on Mexican food." The unique raw bar thing is especially evident in the flavored ices served with the shellfish and mollusks, including Thai basil and pickled habanero mango. "We kinda get creative with that whole thing," chef Nicholas Dixon told DigBoston. Zagat mentions a few of the non-taco offerings, and "OH EM GEEEEEE," one Yelp reviewer squeals about the duck taquitos. But the versatile finger food is the main attraction. With nine different taco plates to choose from, personal accounts range from the fanatic to the disappointed. Scroll through the reviews so far and you'll see a few folks complain about priciness.