La Popular in Austin Review
La Popular – 7415 Southwest Pkwy building 5 suite 100, Austin, TX 78735
La Popular opened in April of this year on Southwest Parkway in Austin. They are an authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant that transports you to Mexico with their flavors and aromas. This is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Austin with a friendly warm environment and delicious food and drinks.
From top to bottom the menu at La Popular is fantastic. They have classic starters like queso and guacamole as well as elevated options like white fish ceviche and ahi tuna tostadas. They have a few soup and salad options as well. For entrees they have a tacos section and plates section. There are also sides and desserts. Their drink menu has everything from classic margaritas to elevated mezcal cocktails.
We started our meal with a flight of their four salsas, from mildest to hottest: the avocado salsa verde, the salsa lorenza, the salsa toreado and the salsa llorona. The avocado salsa verde is bright green from the avocado and is light and refreshing. The salsa lorenza tastes like a classic tomato roasted salsa and has a bit of a kick from the serrano chili and jalapeno peppers. The salsa toreado has a delicious smoky flavor and definitely leaves you needing a glass of water. The salsa llorona, also known as the weeping salsa, is more of pickled onions and peppers than a salsa and for someone who likes spicy food it wasn’t weeping. But, it definitely had a major kick and wasn’t for the faint of heart. The vinegar helped cut the spice and gave it a great flavor. All the salsas were paired with thick and crispy tortilla chips.
For starters we ordered their guacamole and added the ribeye chicharrones and we also got the ahi tuna tostadas. Both of these appetizers are amazing. The guacamole is perfectly seasoned and the ribeye chicharrones add a beautiful texture and saltiness to the dip. The ahi tuna tostadas stole the show for the appetizers, though. As someone that doesn’t even like tuna, I loved these. The crispy leeks and the chipotle aioli perfectly compliment the tuna and avocado. These were gorgeous and delicious all at once.
Our server recommended the Perlas as a sweeter margarita option and she didn’t fail us. It’s a great option for someone who doesn’t like the bitterness of alcohol but still wants a good cocktail. We also got the pineapple mango agua fresca which was non-alcoholic. This drink is just the right amount of sweet and refreshing. They also have the option to add tequila to it and make it a tasty cocktail, but by itself it is perfectly satisfying.
The entree options are tacos or plates. We opted for two different type of tacos. We got the baja shrimp tacos and the Al pastor tacos. These tacos are not your typical Mexican restaurant tacos, they were outstanding. You don’t usually have to work very hard to make Mexican food taste good because the flavors themselves are good together, but it’s clear at La Popular they have thought out each and every step and ingredient going into their dishes. These tacos are nothing like anything I’ve had. The al pastor tacos came with onions and two small slices of pineapple which helped cut the saltiness and added only the perfect amount of tang. The baja shrimp tacos are perfectly seasoned with the perfect combination of coleslaw, sauces and toppings. These tacos really are absolutely delicious.
We had to try the tres leches cake despite having an already fantastic meal, and it didn’t disappoint. When it came out, it didn’t look like a traditional tres leches cake which is normally square, but that does not mean its flavors are lacking. It is creamy and moist and walks the line of almost too sweet but never passes it. Their dessert is a great end to a great meal.
Overall, the experience at La Popular was outstanding. They have a friendly welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable while still being at an upscale restaurant. Every single dish and drink we tried was delicious and nothing fell short. La Popular is a beautiful spot for a date night, nice dinner out with the family or a birthday dinner celebration with your friends. Make La Popular your next stop for elevated Mexican cuisine in Austin.