Adjoining to Pod 39 Hotel in Murray Hill, you’ll find the decorative restaurant and bar, Salvation Taco. This taqueria and cantina serves mainly Mexican fare, but with other international influences. Most of the allure is definitely in the decor and ambiance. The bar occupies the front, with a number of high-top tables, while the back caters to more of a lounge atmosphere.
Strewn with big colorful paper lanterns, bright walls, and Aztec printed upholstery, this place feeds the visual senses. Oh, and there are ping pong tables in the back behind glass doors.
I started off with their Salvation Margarita (pueblo viejo blanco, combier, lime juice, guajillo chili salt). You can ask for it spicy, which, naturally, I did. It was refreshing and had a nice kick to it. A bit on the sweet side, but luckily the heat counterbalanced that a little.
Then, I had their Chips and Guacamole and Salsa (fresh tomatillo and roasted tomato habanero). This was really great. The guac was fresh, rustically textured and really tasty. The salsas were also good, I especially liked the tomato habanero, spicy but with a nice sweet finish.
For my entree I got a Taco Dinner of Beer Battered Fish Filet (with spicy tartar & mayan mayo). The Taco Dinners section of the menu is meant to share for two people, averaging out to 3 small tacos a person. If you have a monster appetite, or, don’t plan on any apps, you might be able to tackle this as a solo plate. I’ve had many fish tacos in my time, and while these weren’t at the top of my list, they were still good. The fish is light and flakey, coated in a crisp and crunchy batter. I can’t say that they were very flavorful, but, what really makes them is the pickled red onions and fresh, big pieces of cilantro. They make the dish more dynamic and interesting for sure.
And you can also ogle at this Carmen Miranda-esc wall. Chica-Chica-Boom!
Name: Salvation Taco
Location: 145 East 39th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? I would, I really enjoyed the ambiance and totally down for more of their chips and guac.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a vibrant environment and a fun place to hang out.