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Taco Royalty Sonora’s Next Chapter Starts With Birria in London’s Hottest Food Hall

Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier will close the London Fields taqueria on 11 September, and begin again with Mexa at Arcade Food Hall

A bird’s-eye view of quesadillas with consomé; tostadas; and totopos on colourful plates.
An array of quesadillas, tostadas, and totopos at Mexa.

Sonora Taqueria, currently home to London’s best tacos at Netil Market in London Fields, will start its next chapter slinging birria quesadillas at the hottest food hall in the city.

Mexa, which will open at Arcade Food Hall Centre Point from 16 September, will see co-founders Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier depart from their laser-like focus on de la Rocha’s home region of Sonora. Spurning the traditional divide between tortillas and seafood, Mexa will bring Sinaloa’s marisco culture to the fore, with both ceviche and aguachile headlining the menu. The former will centre around sea bass, while prawns will be the base of the aguachile.

The duo will also introduce two new quesadillas to their rotation: “gobernador,” another Sinaloan preparation of prawns, melted cheese, and salsa roja; and birria de res, served with consomé. This melting concoction of adobo-stewed meat — here lamb — has boomed from its roots in Tijuana across the U.S. in recent times, but quality versions are yet to make the leap across the Atlantic, save for at Bake Street near Rectory Road overground station. Taco fillings will also move away from Sonoran staples of barbacoa and adobada, with suadero, made with confit brisket and a staple of Surrey Quays hit La Chingada, joined by carnitas and nopales.

The opening will be Sonora’s first after it closes its hugely popular London Fields location, with the last weekend of service being 9 — 11 September. The co-founders, who recently married, are also aiming to open a fully fledged restaurant in the longer term.