johnny taco - bali, indonesia
Rating: 8 / 10
Look, I know you're in Bali to try Balinese food, visit a temple, prance around barefoot because you think it's sacred, buy a sarong at the nearest stall for 10 times the real price, almost drown learning how to surf, put off that morning meditation alarm until your holiday is over, and maybe, just maybe, meet the person of your dreams... well.... those things can happen, but one thing that doesn't happen too often in Asia is finding an above average Mexican-ish spot.
So please, tear yourself away from all the fun you're having, hop in a Grab Taxi and punch this address into your app!
This literal shack in a side-alley, engine-roar distance from the Airport is every "in the know" expats secret go to spot for a guilty (rather healthy in fact) bite. The workers here know most of the American long-stayers by name, which is testament to either their startling memory, or the regularity of the return customers.
Buoyed by the Bowie print on the wall (someone has good taste), the wooden ENDLESS SUMMER etching (again, someone knows their shit) and haunted by the aromas spilling within reach, I tracked down the quietest corner and ordered my taco's and a side of mango salsa, oh, and a margarita. Pre-flight nerves, you see.
The tortillas themselves were nothing to write home about, but they did their job. What lay nestling on top was the perfect marriage of Cali-Taco (ala Gordito's in Cabarete), that you'll find, possibly anywhere in Asia. Ok, it's not REAAAAAL Mexican, but come on. Fresh produce, succulent meats, decent sauces, all pairs together to satisfy your cravings for a bit of relief after months of local fare spilling from every orifice.
Laidback service with a half-smile, wallet caressing prices, and no dodgy stomach to embarrass you when you're strapped into your mid-aisle seat on a 15 hour flight back to the US or Europe and those distinct cramps start appearing in your lower abdomen, thrusting the fear of God into your every atom, charting the shortest distance to the bathroom and pleading with the seatbelt sign to go off so you can unhook your belt and beat the old lady to the small cubicle where life itself stops for a full minute as you empty yourself at 30,000 feet shivering like the hedonist that you are.
All these recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"