La Condesa – Austin, TX

On our second day in Austin, we decided on a more low key evening (after spending the whole night at Sixth Street the night before, we were all quite happy to just sit down for a nice meal).  La Condesa came highly recommended by some of the locals so we were more than excited to try it.

JH was a local who grew up in Texas and went to school in Austin and she was impressed with the Tex Mex cuisine La Condesa serves, so I was really excited to be exposed to some Tex Mex.  The decor and ambiance of the restaurant was very hip and eclectic with a nice full bar on the upper level and a main dining area.

Menu had a nice range of options – meats, fish, poultry and even vegetarian. There were lots of plates for sharing and drinks menu, which is a great sign for our group of 7.

We ordered:

Guacamole Tasting $16

A tasting of all the guacamoles and salsa – traditional, chipotle puree & toasted almond, pomegranate & queso fresco, jumbo lump crab w apple & coconut vinegar.

This was a great way to start the meal! I can’t say much about the salsas since I tried one and it was too spicy for me.  As for the guacamoles, I loved every single option – my favourite being the pomegranate version with the nice sweet seeds, salty creamy queso and my second favourite is the jumbo lump crab version.  The crab chunks were sweet and salty, mixed with the rich avocado and lime – soooo good!  I have never had anything like it.

Scallop Ceviche $16

Diver scallop, lemongrass coconut cream, avocado, grapefruit, fresno chile and grapefruit caviar

One of the best dishes of the night.  The scallop was so fresh and sweet topped with a nice chunks of citrusy grapefruit and caviar that just popped!  The avocado and coconut cream gave it an additional richness I didn’t expect.  I wish I didn’t have to share!

Acapulco Ceviche $14

Spanish Lubina, salsa bruja valentina, avocado, tomato, citrus

The sea bass turned out a tad it was a tad fishy which immediately turned me off.  So I didn’t have any more to determine what the flavours were. I also found it funny that it was served with soup crackers. LOL

Croquetas De Jamon $9

Neuske’s ham, poblano-tomatillo jam, manchego cheese, green apple and serrano

One of the featured items of the day and highly recommended by our server.  Crispy deep fried potato croquettes with bits of ham and cheese – the flavours were sooo good. Salty bits with fresh crisps apple and spicy jam.  Pretty good~

Medula $16

Split bone Marrow, bacon marmalade, poblano rajas, chicharron de queso

This was another featured appetizer for the day – I never quite understood the fascination with bone marrow… it all sounds so novel a few years back when I first tried it and didn’t enjoy it.  Again, this time around – I can’t say I was crazy about the  dish.. Note that there is nothing wrong with the flavours and how this dish was prepared per se, it was just me?

I did really enjoy the fried pork skins (chisharron) and the bacon marmalade was interesting.

Carnitas Taco $12 : Crispy pork shoulder, fermented black beans, tomatillo avocado salsa, baby arugula, mixed radish & queso
Pollo Tacos $8 : Rotiserrie chicken, citrus rub, salsa verde and cilantro
Pescado Tacos $12 : Grilled texas red fish, green cabbage, chipotle mayo, pico de gallo and salsa morenita
Cochinita Pibil Taco $8 : Orange & banana lead marinated berkshire pork, cabbage, pickled red onion and pickled jalapeno

My favourite taco has to be the Pescado taco followed by the Cochinita Pibil.  The nice chunks of grilled fish with spicy mayo was so good! I didn’t care much for the raw cabbage but that was an easy problem to solve.  The marinated pork was good coz it had so much flavour and didn’t have as much going on a the other dishes, again I picked out the cabbage and jalapeno. The other two tacos were good but not my favourites – the chicken was OK, and the carnitas actually had crispy bits which I liked.  Not to forget, I wanted to save room for all the other dishes we ordered.

Coliflor a la Plancha $18

Roasted cauliflower steak, chipotle raisin puree, marcona almond, chile vinaigrette and a garlic cauliflower soubise

Who knew cauliflower could taste so good! I mean, I was appalled when the ladies suggested ordering this dish – it didn’t even have meat on it?!! But I am glad they did, it was delicious! Ignoring all the fancy words (at this point, I have given up trying to understand the spanish/french names/descriptions). The cauliflower was smokey and sweet with the rich salty sauce and garlicky creamy cauliflower puree. Yummm…

Lengua de Bife $25

Braised beef tongue, pickled corn & Shallot, salsa negra, bacon marmalade, glazed radish and atole blanco

A crowd pleaser! The tongue was very tender and packful of flavour – it was so rich, sweet and salty.  The bacon marmalade was a little lost in the original juices of the beef, and very subtle – but the pickled corn and shallot was a nice touch to cut through all that grease/fat. Love it!

2 orders Elote @ $4 each

Mexican style street corn – grilled and sprinkled with queso and paprika

One of the best things of the night!!! Each order came with two pieces of corn and I could easily polish it all off – the smoky grilled corn was sooo sweet and the salty creamy queso made it perfect!

2 orders Yucca fries @ $8 each

Served with a tomato jam – a nice home made ketchup that I quite enjoyed. Not bad but not my favourite since it doesn’t really crisped up with soft centre like regular fries.

Boca Negra $9

Flourless chocolate cake, chile de arbol, ancho, caramelized banana, brown sugar banana ice cream

I am all bout ending on a sweet note. We forgot to take a photo at this point but this was a crowd pleaser especially the caramelized banana and banana ice cream – it was everything you would expect banana ice cream to taste like and worked so well with the rich dense flourless cake.

Hoja Santa $9

Hoja santa semifreddo, brandied cherry, almond, chocolate, birch beer marshmallow crema

Cold and light – a great contrast to the chocolate cake. Smooth, creamy light semifreddo and interesting marshmallow crema. Pretty good~


2 Sides of Avocado @ $3 each
1 Carafe White Sangria $25
1 Pitcher Magarita $50
Press Coffee $4
Hot Tea $4



Total Damage: $363.20 ~$50 per person (including tax and tip)

Personal Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Very good)

We had an excellent time at La Condesa, the food was pretty good and service was excellent.  I liked the main entrees way better than the tacos that we ordered but everyone else loved the tacos.  I would recommend large parties here as they seem to handle groups really well and have great menu items that are excellent for sharing.  They also have an extensive drinks list, which explains a really packed bar right next to the main dining room.  Also, another reason to come in large groups – you can pre order a whole suckling pig, which is presented, roasted and then incorporated to multiple dishes. I was definitely jealous of the large group of 16 or more that sat beside us and ordered this!

The prices are steep, considering what we have had in Austin for way less than that – but it is taking Tex Mex to another level.

La Condesa

400 A W 2nd Street
Austin, Texas 78701

(512) 499 0300

La Condesa on Urbanspoon

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