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Sidebars: Unassuming storefront houses flavorful Mexican food

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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.•

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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.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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