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Lupita - Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood

%

Overall Rating

  • Ambience 80%
  • Service 60%
  • Food (Execution) 60%
  • Creativity 80%
  • Value 60%

Details for Location Reviewed
Lupita - Buenos Aires

Locale: Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood Address: Fitz Roy 1834

Telephone: +54 11 4771-8240
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
Cuisine: Mexican
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$
Menu items offered: Ceviche - Aquachile, Coffee, Desserts, Nachos, Salads, Seafood, Soups, Tacos, Tamales - Humitas, Tapas - Finger Foods - Snacks
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am to 2am Sat-Sun: 6pm to 3am

Restaurant Details
Lupita - Buenos Aires

Locale: Buenos Aires, Palermo Hollywood Address: Fitz Roy 1834

Telephone: +54 11 4771-8240

Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
Cuisine: Mexican Service Type: Table Service Price: $$$ Menu items offered: Ceviche - Aquachile, Coffee, Desserts, Nachos, Salads, Seafood, Soups, Tacos, Tamales - Humitas, Tapas - Finger Foods - Snacks

Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am to 2am Sat-Sun: 6pm to 3am

Summary

Trendy Mexican Food with very nice decor. The chef has attempted to modify and glorify Mexican food but has not been entirely successful. Some of the dishes like the enchiladas were quite tasty, despite being nowhere close to authentic.

Resumen del crítica

Trendy Mexican Food with very nice decor. The chef has attempted to modify and glorify Mexican food but has not been entirely successful. Some of the dishes like the enchiladas were quite tasty, despite being nowhere close to authentic.

LATAM

Patio Bullrich

Trapiche Fond de Cave - Distinctively Argentine

Restaurant Review for Lupita - Buenos Aires

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review Date: 08/29/2015

What is Lupita? Hmmm. That’s a good question. One thing is fairly certain. It’s not Mexican food. Mexican food is hot and spicy. It’s meat from pigs and goats. It uses chili powder and cumin and lots of beans and rice. It comes on big platters and in big baskets and bowls. There are a few variations on these elements of the formula but not many. Perhaps if you’re in some beach town in Mexico near the Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico you get some seafood thrown into the mix. But that’s pretty rare. Check out this video to see what Mexican food really looks like. And check out these authentic recipes from Coctione.com for some iconic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes.

Over at Lupita, Chef Israel Dugay has attempted to modify Mexican cuisine to make it more make it attractive to the Porteño’s palate. And he has done so quite successfully, with arguably the most popular chain of “Mexican food” restaurants in South America. And the truth of the matter is that the food at Lupita is actually pretty tasty, despite the fact that it doesn’t much resemble anything Mexican.

When I go to a ballet I expect to see people dancing. When I go to a Mexican food restaurant, I would like to be served some Mexican food. Well it just didn’t happen at Lupita. But on at least one dish ... they sort of came close.

The menu sort of foreshadows what the dining experience will be like. On the menu, they have little chili pepper grapic images to denote just how spicy each dish is. One chili means it’s a little hot (“picosito”). Two chilis means it’s sort of hot (“medio picoso”) and the icon with three chili peppers indicates the dish is very hot (“super picoso”). Of seventy one food items on the menu only two have the icons. One of the nacho dishes is indicated as being a little bit hot and one of the guacamoles (laced with tidbits of mild pickled jalepeño slices”) is branded with the very hot three pepper icon.

Naturally, I tried the super-hot version of the guacamole, the Guacamole Pa’ Macho. You see where this is going, right? I didn’t even break a sweat. And this is the only thing even remotely hot on the menu. The other unique variety of guacamole is the Guacamole con Pancetta. Guess what? Pancetta isn’t even a Spanish word. It’s Italian. And to be truthful what they call pancetta in Buenos Aires isn’t really even Pancetta. It’s like the lean ham-like part of the pork belly. Point is that guacamole with ham is not really Mexican. Notwithstanding this minor oversight, the guacamole is pretty good. My personal preference is the classic or the hot one that’s not really hot. I prefer not to have ham in my guacamole.

I thought I’d give the shrimp tacos a try. I was hoping I’d get some cumin and chili pepper dusted shrimp wrapped up in steaming hot corn tortillas with some killer tomatillo relish. But no. It didn’t happen. Three tiny boiled and tasteless shrimp on three near-cold corn tortillas. The salsa was fresh and fairly tasty. It was the only part of the dish that had any flavor whatsoever. They were acceptable but certainly not much more than that.

I also split an order of what that call “gringas” with my friend. A word of warning, if you’re a Porteño and you go to a restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico you won’t find any “gringas” on the menu. If ask for a “gringa” they’re gonna send you to California where the gringas are blond and have fake body parts.

These gringas they are serving up at Lupita are flour tortillas (which by the way, are Tex-Mex, not Mexican ingredients) that are just barely crispy with a little bit of meat tucked inside. And they have some sort of sweet, syrupy sauce drizzled over the top. Sort of like a quesadilla with maple syrup and without the cheese. At any rate, they weren’t very substantial and they weren’t even remotely Mexican. They tasted okay, but were hardly worth the US$8 (ARS$99) they were charging for them.

Finally, I ordered the enchiladas. To be honest, I can’t remember whether I ordered the lamb or the veal enchiladas. Although these weren’t even remotely Mexican they were very, very good. The meat was well seasoned and wrapped up in a flour tortilla that had been baked until the ends were just starting to char. They were drenched in a very delicious “salsa verde”. Despite the lack of authenticity this was a very good and flavorful dish. I highly recommend this over either the tacos or gringas.

Let’s sum it up. The owners of Lupita have done an admirable job of taking a common man’s cuisine and making it sexy and trendy. And they have managed to serve up a few tasty dishes in the process. In a city where culinary creativity means altering the chimichurri with you mom’s secret recipe, I suppose this attempt should be praised. For me personally, I’d rather go to somewhere a little more authentic. Perhaps Maria Felix for something a little on the elegant side or over to Real Revolution for something way more authentic.

If on a particular night your goal is to be seen in a trendy restaurant in a trendy part of town then Lupita is a darn good choice. For authentic Mexican food, I think there are better choices with walking distance.

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