We had been to a morning movie at Luna and were looking for a quick lunch afterwards and spotted La Vida Urbana where (I think) an Indian restaurant once sat in Carr Place and went in – we didn’t know then it was a sister restaurant to El Publico in Highgate.
It has a stark feel – bright, light with a mix of raw concrete and marble on the ceiling with exposed air con ducts – a central bar with a bottle display to one side – tequila and wine and other drinks. There is no wine list but you can pick any of the bottles on display and all wines are available by the glass – a bottle of Flor Marche Grenache caught my eye – although based in Margaret River the grapes are sourced from the Swan Valley and the wine has wonderful dark fruit and chocolate aromas and flavours – well suited to Mexican food which has a particular affinity with chocolate I think. The wine was served in stemless glasses; not my favourite glass but did the job.
The food, well as it is related to El Publico, is modern Mex style – not an extensive menu by any means, (it may have more choice at night, we were in the breakfast/brunch zone) but had enough on offer to tempt us – we had consumed Choc Bombs at the movies so only needed a light meal and so decided on a selection of tacos – chicken, fish and cauliflower.
Each came on two soft tortillas, the fried fish moist and juicy inside the battered coating, avocado and salsa on top; the cauliflower similarly fried with a batter coat and retained a pleasant crispness, with chipotle mayo spooned over; while the smoked chicken was succulent and sloshed with a nutty peanut mole – a good scatter of chopped cabbage, tomato salsa covered the dish.
On the table a couple of sauces – a sweet chilli and a zesty jalapeno sauce verde – for slathering over the fillings.
Four tacos was more than enough for us for lunch – good size, good price.
La Vida Urbana is a great addition to the Leederville dining scene – modern, friendly, very good food, excellent value for money, small but well put together wine choices and lots of Tequila for those who want to get into it.