Food and Drink


Livin’ Burrito Loca – it’s Spanish for pop-up

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Like Flash advertisements on free pornography websites, pop-up shops and restaurants have appeared all over Melbourne this summer. Temporary businesses have sprung up overnight in vacant shop fronts, art galleries and even private residences, selling their goods to a fanciful public before disappearing as quickly as they surfaced. Currently residing within Odessa Creative Space in Fitzroy, Livin’ Burrito Loca may be the last of the season’s guerrilla traders.

The Mexican pop-up restaurant is presented as a cosy back street hangout, with the kitchen (in fact a food van) parked at one end of the gallery. The rest of the interior is furnished with old tables, ratty school chairs and milk crates. The walls are adorned with Mexican fiesta coloured crepe paper and there are Trivial Pursuit: Genius Edition cards on the tables.

The menu consisted of blue corn soft shell tacos ($6) and burittos ($10), with both available in chicken, fish, black bean and a special of the day – this time it was chilli prawn. We ordered one of each taco, which quickly arrived thickly dressed in salsa (tomato, cucumber, red cabbage), guacamole, coriander and chipotle mayo.

The tacos certainly looked the part, however each suffered from an over abundance of dressing that drowned out the flavour of the base ingredients. They all tasted pretty similar; nice, but Mexican can be so much more. Ask the chef to go easy on the salsa for a more balanced flavour.

I mindlessly shook a bottle of what later turned out to be Death Sauce (the bottle advised dilution before consumption) over my second taco in an attempt to jazz it up a little. Seconds later, with sweat pouring from my forehead and tears streaming down my face, I reached for my drink of lemon, mint, agave nectar and tequila and downed it in one prolonged slurp before hurriedly buying a cold can of Tecate.

Livin’ Burrito Loca is located at Odessa Creative Space on the corner of Gore and Kerr Streets in Fitzroy. It’s open Thursday to Sunday, 5pm-10pm until the end of February.

Go easy on that Death Sauce.

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