B.S. Taqueria offers fresh tacos with seafood flair

Just steps away from old favorites including Bottega Louie and Sugarfish, B.S. Taqueria is nestled on West 7th Street in between salons and clothing stores. Casual and wildly colorful, The restaurant boasts a cozy atmosphere and curious ornaments that accentuate its eccentric dishes.

The first thing that catches the eye is the abundance of color. There are hot pink ceiling beams connected to warm, tangerine walls, punctuated with yellow frames. Molinillos hang from the ceiling. Then, patrons notice the wooden tables and benches lined with rainbow-colored pillows. It’s amazing how the restaurant managed to fit so much into such a small space without the environment feeling overwhelming.

The menu is straightforward, with starters, tacos, platos especiales, sides and dulces to choose from. There is also a fun cocktail and drink menu to complement the delectable tacos.

The bean dip — made with black beans, chicharron, cotija, cilantro and pico de gallo — is served with heirloom corn tortilla chips. This prelude makes for a satisfying prelude to a Mexican fiesta of flavors. At first bite, the starter has an unexpected smoky quality to it. The hard, crumbly cotija cheese adds a sprinkle of color and richness to the dish, while the chicharron, fried pork belly and rinds, is wonderfully tender and tangy. The pico de gallo, made with fresh tomato and jalapeño, gives the dish a fresh twist that keeps it from feeling too heavy. The tortilla chips, served in half-moon shapes, are just the right thickness to maintain the expected crispness while also making each bite hearty and balanced. The dip costs $9, a bit on the pricey side, but each delicious bite makes up for it.

Chef Ray Garcia says the clams and lardo tacos are served on organic blue corn tortillas supplied by Masienda, a little place in Mexico known for producing maize. The tortillas are freshly pressed in-house. The company only supplies three restaurants in the United States. The origin of the humble tortilla is already quite tasty, but the toppings, fresh manila clams and garlic chips, are what make each bite exciting. The first messy bite was heavenly — you get your teeth into the warm tortilla, and then the plump and juicy clams mix with the sharp salsa, with hints of fragrant garlic, paired with the flavors of the lardo. The textures and flavors worked extremely well with one another; nothing was over-seasoned, or overpowering. Though it costs patrons $14 for two tacos, the quality of the ingredients and the generous amount of clams gets you bang for your buck.

The chorizo and papas tacos were topped with smears of tangy, spicy chorizo over a layer of melted mozzarella, and also chunks of papas, which are Mexican-style potatoes that taste like seasoned wedges — finished off with a fine smattering of cotija cheese. This dish definitely used more traditional ingredients of Mexican cuisine and packed a punch of spiciness that was both delicious and very messy to eat. They were more filling than the clam and lardo tacos, due to the papas on it as well as the bean dip starting to register in the stomach. Two of the chorizo and papas tacos cost $9, and the whole meal, plus tax, cost around $40 for two.

B.S. Taqueria is a delightful place with friendly people, perfect for a casual bite Downtown with friends.