Mex Near the Red-Light: Patpong

What’s up, I’m Seven. I live the dream in case you can’t. And right now, the dream is to find good Mexican food in close proximity to hot girls in short-shorts. As a native of Los Angeles and a frequent visitor to Mexico, I’m a snob when it comes to Mexican food, and deservedly so. And as every such snob who’s been here knows, “Ya can’t get good Mexican in Thailand.” So of course, when rating the horror menagerie that is the Mex-restaurant scene in this great city, one must take everything with a grain of salsa—or whatever offensive swill their chef calls salsa—hold ones nose, and dig in, knowing nothing on this continent could ever come close to what real Mexican should taste like, and this is just one of the few negatives about living in The Land of Smiles. Needless to say, trying out each torturous, palate-offending restaurant in town gives new meaning to the term “MexiCAN’T” and no one reading this should be put through it. So, because I have a heart of solid gold, I’m doing it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

I’ve produced articles on this topic for the other Red-Lights (Nana and Cowboy) which can be found elsewhere on the internet (try my blog: The following is a very, very short list of Mexican-ish places near the red light district (RLD) of Patpong. Prepare to be disappointed.

Sunrise Tacos Silom. Distance from the RLD: 50 meters. Not all Sunrises are created equal. Depending on who’s running which franchise, the food can range from pretty good to inedible. Sunrise Silom has seen both ends of that spectrum over the last couple years, and I’m happy to report that right now, they’re at the happy end. I swung in late after ponging one night and was pleasantly surprised by the food. I got a Golden Sunrise (pictured right, not to be confused with a golden shower) which is a half quesadilla filled with marinated pork, pineapple, and salsa. It was terrific. The pork was tender, tasty, and perfectly-cooked. After that, fish tacos (featured image above). In a word: terrific. And as a Los Angeles native who earned his fish taco stripes in little cocinas between Tijuana and Rosarito, you can trust me on this topic. Everything was perfect—the fish, the crema, the salsa. It sounds like it’d be hard to screw up, but the fact is, everything has to be just right. And Sunrise Silom got it just right.

Seven gives it an 8.

Chilito. Distance from the RLD: 300 meters. Buried in the basement of the Central Silom mall is this sad attempt at Mexican fare. They’re similar to most such restaurants in Bangkok in that they have mostly the right ingredients, they know the steps for making the food (fill tortilla, fold tortilla) and yet they still manage to create garbage. It’s not entirely their fault. They’re going by what some idiot from Europe thinks Mexicans eat. Having suffered through the nightmare the English like to call “Tex-Mex” I can see where the Thais get their crazy ideas. Chilito is the textbook example of every wrong thing you can do with the right ingredients. Well, except dark green lettuce. Let me state this clearly for the record: There is no place for lettuce in any Mexican dish. Ironically, it fits perfectly with the rest of Chilitos ingredients, because it’s basically a salad bar with some meat and several failed attempts at salsa. They do give you a lot of food. It’s a shame it doesn’t taste that great.

Seven gives it a 2.

Cali-Mex Silom. Distance from the RLD: 1,500 meters. This place is waaaay down Silom Road toward the river, right next to the Holiday Inn. I tried the Cai-Mex on Sukhumvit a few weeks back, and swore I’d never return. And dropping another 800 baht on one dish and a margarita really put me in a mood. But I did it for you, so I hope you take this review to heart. This time I got the nachos, so it was only 720 (395+ for the food, 299+ for the booze). OK, so Cali-Mex Silom isn’t a full restaurant. It’s a walk-up, meaning you walk up to the counter, order your food, then wait, then pick up your food, like a Taco Bell in the US. Plastic cutlery, plastic margarita glasses, no on-the-rocks option, just 2 Slurpee machines churning strawberry and regular flavors. They’re strong, though, and tasty. Better be for 299++. The nachos were  pretty good. I got Barbacoa beef and refried beans–both good. It also came with a big dollop of guacamole, chopped tomatoes, salsa fresca, jack cheese, and a drizzle of sour cream. It was a lot of food, and I left feeling full. But 720 baht is just too expensive for what it is–decent nachos and a cocktail.

Seven gives it a 6.

And that’s it for Patpong, folks. Yes, it’s sad but true. There are only three Mexican joints within walking distance of the Pong. Weep, friends. Weep for the culture, weep for the punters, and weep most of all for yourselves. Also, follow the goings on in the red-light via my Twitter @BangkokSeven and my FB page.