24-26 Russell Street,
(020) 7379 0220
The ViewLondon Review
Los Locos is a restaurant, bar and night club rolled in to one. The recipe may not be perfect but they do some things right: the cocktails.
Tucked away in a basement, Los Locos has a central dance floor that’s covered with tables during dining hours; later, the furniture is removed as the club morphs into a late night club. The room is painted with Mexican landscapes, simply outlined in shades of brown, while framed rocks, dry fruit and other decorations add to the exotic flavor. Rather incongruously, once the nightclub has started, black strip lights become the main feature, making all wall signs and the bar (and your white socks) glow rave-style.
Los Locos is very near Covent Garden Market and, as such, many clients are tourists and out-of-towners. Dining hours are moderately busy and the lively and discreet Latin music is a positive contribution as groups of friends chat over dinner. Then things go quiet: only few stick around long enough to see the black lights and things become a little awkward when the music starts as nobody is ready or keen to dance. At 11pm on a Friday, the dance floor can be empty, although on other nights you may find yourself surrounded by a big birthday party. Praise must go to the Latin American staff: they’re smiley, attentive and very accommodating.
Just like the lights, the music also experiences a rather sharp transition. As soon as the tables are cleared to leave space to the dance floor, the gentle background of soothing Latin tunes morphs into chart, past and present. The music aims at being crowd pleasing, although you may have expected an evening of Latin dance music rather than Jessie J.
While the portions are generous, the prices of this classic Tex Mex fare are fairly high (appetizers £3-£10, mains £9-£16). Covent Garden’s rents are exorbitantly high, but £6 for four small spring rolls and a side of shredded iceberg lettuce feels steep. In addition, a burrito or enchilada wrap (although large) with some guacamole and corn chips costs the price of a gastropub main; however, the spinach and mushroom enchilada (£10.50) partly makes up for it with diversity of flavours, as the wrapped tortillas come with an interesting cilantro cream sauce, refried beans and Mexican rice.
One of the redeeming features is that cocktails are good value: at £6 (or £16 for a pitcher), the selection of classics (Long Island iced tea, margarita, etc) and house concoctions is definitely satisfactory. The flying melon (vodka, Midori, orange juice, lime and lemon) is fresh and very palatable. Even the mocktails (£3.25 a glass or pitcher for £7) are surprising: the salty puppy (a simple mix of fresh lime with grapefruit juice) is an experience thanks to the salt and sugar glass rim. The rest of the menu includes bottled beers (from £3.75), shooters (£5 for 35 ml), spirits (£4-£6) and wine.
The Last Word
Los Locos’ best asset is the cocktail list – and this should be your main motivation to pay a visit. Either plan a visit for dinner or arrive late for the club to avoid those awkward moments of emptiness in between.
Los Locos has been reviewed by 19 users