Twelve years since becoming a household name and a downtown mainstay, Boca Restaurant Group’s contemporary Mexican-American taco joint Nada has at long last introduced a new menu to shake things up. We stopped by for lunch to check out some of the changes, including the new tacos on the bang-for-your-buck lunchbox menu, along with a few sides and a dessert.
Seven new tacos join two old favorites, the Mexico City Pastor (chile-marinated pork with onion and pickled pineapple) and pork belly (with pickled pepper and guajillo diablo salsa) tacos, on the lunchbox menu. Adding to those hearty options are three vegetarian tacos: The caramelized cauliflower is earthy and roasty, with a complementary tangy garlic-whipped goat cheese sauce, scallion slices, Spanish marcona almonds, and fresno peppers; the fried tofu is light, with a spicy guajillo diablo salsa, cut with sour pickled peppers and red onions; and—what we considered an unlikely favorite, but it totally stole our hearts—the crispy kale and mushroom, an umami bomb that lends a satisfying beefy flavor, enhanced by the tangy acidity of the red mole (we’d put that stuff on everything if we could).
On the carnivorous side, the cheesy carne asada (with a charred tomato salsa, crema, and pickled fresnos) and the herb-marinated grilled mahi (with corn relish and lime crema) were just what we were looking for, the former as comforting as it sounds, and the latter light yet satisfying.
Two of the new sides, the grilled street corn and the mac and cheese, were just as tasty, perfectly complementing the tacos we tried. The grilled street corn is lightly charred and dressed with a creamy, citrusy lime-chili-mayo sauce and sprinkled with fresh-chopped cilantro. The name couldn’t be more apt: It immediately recalls Mexican street food elote, but conveniently shucked and served in a bowl. The gooey macaroni and cheese is uber-creamy and has a mild kick from roasted poblanos and jalapeño, with an added crunch from toasted, garlicky breadcrumb topping.
With summer well on its way, we also had to try the gazpacho. The chilled soup, with a beefsteak tomato–piquillo pepper puree layered over Greek yogurt, topped with avocado slices, a cucumber-corn salsa, and toasted pepitas, is tangy and oh so refreshing. This is one that we’ll no doubt crave to cool off on those sweltering summer days.
We capped off our meal with an order of the made-to-order churros. Generously portioned and light as air with a dusting of cinnamon sugar, they’re served with a side of milk chocolate and dolce de leche dipping sauces—both were fantastic, but we favored the buttery caramel sauce. This rich treat is best split with a group, but of course, you could just take the rest home to enjoy later, like we did.
While Nada’s original taco menu—simple but thoughtfully composed—was enduring, it’s nice to give diners a reason to come back and try something new. They’ve succeeded in doing that with this new menu, and we know we’ll be back soon to get another taste of those surprisingly satisfying vegetarian dishes, among others.
Nada, 600 Elm St., downtown, (513) 721-6232, eatdrinknada.com