Atmosphere: Very small and bright neon, with no indoor seating available. There is counter space along two of the walls, but I imagine most people get their bites to go.
Service: The owner was working the counter and enthusiastically recommended a few guest favorites.
Booze: No alcohol, however, they serve fresh homemade agua fresca and bubble teas in several fruity flavors.
Red Braised Pork Carnitas | with avocado crema and diced onion $ 3
Braised Oxtail Guisado Taco | with chile mulato salsa and diced onion $ 3
Chicken | tamarind-cumin marinated with sweet peanut-chile de arbol salsa and diced onion $ 3
Crispy Shrimp | salt and pepper style with spicy chipotle sweet and sour sauce $ 3
Tilapia | yellow curry blackened with chipotle mayo and pickled napa cabbage $ 3
Sweet Potato fries | classic mole poblano with crema and queso fresco $ 3.99
La Chinita Poblano, located in the previous Boogie Burger shack, provides colorful Mexican fare with an Asian-inspired twist. They primarily serve tacos for $3 a pop with a few unique side items and an $8 lunch special including two tacos, hot and sour soup or chips and salsa with an agua fresca to drink.
Tacos were served in thick corn tortillas and topped with a mixture of cilantro, mint and Thai basil that I found very refreshing as the typically pungent bite of cilantro was subdued by other herbs. The pork was okay, but the sweet bbq-like sauce lacked pizzaz. As expected the gamey oxtail didn’t tickle my fancy either; despite my best efforts, I’ve never cozied up to consuming random animal parts. Biting into the next up, tamarind-cumin chicken, I thought, “now we’re talking.” The meat was tender with great flavor and overall packed the fusion punch I was seeking, which brought on more excitement for the seafood duo that I was saving for last. Shrimp went down the hatch first and definitely lived up to my expectations with wonderful heat from the chipotle sweet and sour. By far my favorite was the tilapia: sweet curry mayonnaise met the sharp bite of pickled cabbage on huge chunks of lightly blackened—not fried—fish. Truly a delight, Jay sent me back for three more. Second in line for favorite were the wonderfully crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside sweet potato fries drizzled with the special recipe mole poblano sauce (homemade with 32 ingredients and a six-hour cook time) and queso fresco. These two items alone were well worth the trip to this curious taqueria.
Kudos: They offer close-by delivery and catering, open late night on Thursdays until 2AM and Friday and Saturday until 4AM.
Overall: If you show up with an open mind and appreciation for creative food, you are sure to love this joint. Although Jay’s first comments were, “these are pretty weird,” he immediately wanted more which shows that even foodie purists can appreciate the damn good seafood tacos. I was thrilled by the entire concept and hope that La Chinita Poblana stays in the neighborhood for good.
927 E Westfield Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46220