Julian Downing and Geoff Machirus first bonded over a bottle of tequila. It was a gateway liquor that led them to a greater love: mezcal – tequila’s smokier, more rustic cousin. Seventy-plus bottles sit on the back bar at Bodega Underground, alongside 30 tequilas.
The two spirits can be found in various cocktails and tasting flights, or you can just shoot them. Adventurous drinkers can also garnish their drink with salts made from worm and grasshopper. And there’s an ample beer and wine list, and Mexican cocktails such as the Michelada.
A well-developed taco list covers all bases. Past tacos have included spicy-sweet pork carnitas, and tangy octopus tacos. The vegetarian offering is also sizeable; sweet potato, black bean and green bean tacos are all available. There’s also a range of quesadillas and snacks, such as totopos (tortilla chips) and street corn with chipotle mayo. Everything on the menu is gluten-free.
Downing and Machirus fitted Bodega out themselves with trinkets accumulated from many trips to Mexico. The wallpaper consists of scanned posters from Mexican cinema; religious screen-prints are hung about; and static-riddled TVs sit in the corners.