We’ve got a rule here at The Infatuation, which really only applies to me, because I am the main offender: No more East Coast taco complaining. We’ve beaten that horse to death, and we’re annoying even ourselves at this point. The good news though, is that after years of doing it wrong, there’s a crop of NYC taco joints in town that are doing it right. Los Tacos No. 1, Taqueria Diana[(http://www.theinfatuation.com/new-york/reviews/taqueria-diana), and today’s review subject, Otto’s Tacos, are all bringing some much-needed West Coast flavor out East. You probably won’t be surprised to hear us say that we like where all this is going.
Otto’s is a taco spot in the East Village with a very simple menu and homemade corn tortillas. In true West Coast fashion, they cook them up hot and fresh every hour of every day, and they’re pretty much perfect. The tortillas are then filled with your choice of chicken, carnitas, seasonal vegetables, steak, or shrimp, and the end result is simple tacos that are both highly delicious and priced right at $3 and $4 a piece. If you’ve eaten a lot on the West Coast, you will appreciate Otto’s for that simplicity and sensibility.
Speaking of Otto, he’s the owner. You’ll surely meet him when you come by, as he makes it a point to introduce himself to each customer and ask for feedback on the food. He’s just an LA native who felt like he and his friends were being underserved by the current crop of Manhattan tacos. He set out to fix it, even though he had no restaurant experience under his belt. We like people, we like tacos, and we like problem-solvers. So yeah, we like Otto’s. A lot.
As we mentioned above, the Otto’s tacos all start with the tortilla. Some might get upset about their small size, but not us. We’ll take quality over quantity all damn day. There’s a no-cheese policy here, as is standard with many West Coast tacos spots. The focus here is on the fillings, which are complemented with a nice balance of simple chopped onion, cilantro, and a touch of spicy salsa. No-nonsense and awesome.
Fried corn strips made from the same dough as the tortillas. Yup, we liked these too. They also come with what is possibly the greatest orange spicy dipping sauce ever, which you can feel free to dump on top of the tacos too.
If there’s one thing that falls a little flat at Otto’s it’s the guacamole. It’s not bad; it’s just not all that memorable.