Sidebars: Unassuming storefront houses flavorful Mexican food

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

SidebarsI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: regardless of your views on our nation’s immigration policy, one resultant benefit is the prolific uptick in ethnic dining options. When it comes to Mexican food, there are so many mom-and-pop choices it is hard to know where to turn. This spot makes your decision an easy one.

Flanked this day by Chris Moyer from Segway of Indiana, it was based on his recommendation we have lunch at La Escollera, having dined there himself on several previous visits. Chris knows his food and having introduced me to the previously reviewed stellar fish tacos at Broad Ripple’s Monon Food Company, I trust his recommendations implicitly. Once again he failed to disappoint.

La Escollera boasts an unassuming storefront, resembling half a garden greenhouse, on the east side of Indianapolis. Nothing fancy inside but a clean, inviting atmosphere nonetheless. We immediately seated ourselves and our server graced us with tortilla chips (the real kind, fried in lard) and fresh-made salsa. I ordered guacamole as one of my first tests. I’ve found in other places if that’s freshly made, good things are to follow. When I heard the sound of chopping from the kitchen, I figured we would get what we bargained for, and we did.

The fresh salsa and guacamole reminded me of a beachside cantina I once shared lunch at with my wife Amy in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The difference was as we had that sun-drenched lunch in Mexico, we overlooked a pristine beach, littered with nubile women enjoying some topless sunbathing. This date, I found myself with Chris on an inordinately gray day, overlooking East Washington Street in Indianapolis after a late March snowstorm. Not quite the same, but at least the food was good!

The expansive menu is heavily influenced by seafood options. Despite that, Chris ordered two beef tongue tacos while I chose two marinated pork tacos. Each came dressed authentically, only with cilantro and sweet onion. Chris ordered a side of refried beans and rice dubbed by him as the best in the city. The tacos, wrapped in double-layered corn tortillas, were alive with flavor, especially when enhanced with a few spoonfuls of smoky, chipotle-peppered hot sauce.

As we ate, the place gradually began to fill up with patrons. At the risk of offending EEOC lawyers and, worse yet, incurring the wrath of my editor, let’s just say as far as the clientele goes on this day, we were the only two white, English-speaking guys in the place. Another good sign.

I saw shrimp cocktail come to one table. Imagine the largest beer schooner from a place like The Workingman’s Friend generously stuffed with shrimp and cocktail sauce. The other fish and shrimp platters looked tantalizing, albeit fried. Some patrons ordered fajitas, brought to their table on sizzling platters, filling the restaurant air with smells that beckoned me to walk over and ask for a bite. I didn’t because I know I’ll be back.

So thank you Chris for your recommendation. Speaking of Chris, if any of you readers want to try out a Segway, check out the tours Chris offers at White River State Park. It’s a great experience for your office or family. After your tour, visit La Escollera for a great meal washed down with a cold cerveza. Sorry, no beach though. La Escollera, 5834 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46219. 317-375-9556.•


Fred Vaiana and Jennifer Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Both enjoy a good meal with colleagues and friends, and their Sidebars column reviews and rates eateries lawyers may enjoy visiting when working at courthouses throughout Indiana. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.