|Asada taco (beef brisket with seared onion & salsa), Pescado taco (tempura style fish with a vinaigrette coleslaw and salsa verde), and Al Pastor taco (pulled pork, seared pineapple, Guajillo and Ancho chiles). | Jennifer Silverberg|
(522 North Grand Boulevard; 314-833-9993)
11-1 a.m. Tues.-Sun. (Closed Mon.)
Owners Hugo Perez and Brian Schmitz have wanted to open a place like Lücha for years, but were always hesitant -- how would St. Louis restaurantgoers receive a Mexican restaurant that deviates from the typical rice-and-bean-platter model? When the Kota Wood Fire Grill space came available, the veteran business partners (previous ventures include the Grind and Sol) decided it was time to push diners beyond generic Mexican food and celebrate the authentic flavors and dishes of Perez's hometown, Mexico City.
Lücha, which means "struggle" in Spanish, bills itself as a "Mexican soul food" restaurant, though it's more contemporary in its styling than the name would suggest. As Schmitz explains, the goal is to take traditional dishes and update them using modern cooking techniques. Think Abuela's time-honored recipes meet a Cryovac machine.
See also: A Look Inside Lucha's New Mexican Soul Food Restaurant in MidtownMore »