Los Cardos is a tex-mex on Leith Walk, opposite Balfour Street and between Jameson Place and Dalmeny Street. It is good to see new business on Leith Walk, the area certainly has suffered in the trams chaos.
The restaurant has a reviews section on their website. This review is unlikely to make it.
Los Cardos is not great. The question is whether it is good enough. I have been a number of times and with the exception of the first “must check this new place out” visit each time was driven by the need for a burrito and satisfied by Los Cardos’ position as the single tex-mex option on the Leith side of Princess Street.
This is one of those tex-mex eateries that really only offer burritos. Sure. The menu says fajita as well but these are essentially burritos (wrapped and rolled) with vegetables rather than rice. Even then the range of burrito options is not impressive. There’s no choice on the rice – and, strangely, they’ve decided not to offer Mexican rice (aka tomato rice) and stuff each burrito with lime rice instead.
On a few occasions the burrito has felt a just shy of “hot enough” because of the rice. It must be a challenge to keep warm.
I think Los Cardos is safely described as that little tex-mex place you go if you really fancy a burrito (and you can’t get one from anywhere else).
There are some ticks in the box, though. They offer hot salsa/sauce for the burrito and extra hot sauce. The extra hot salsa isn’t a macho, blow your head off option, it actually tastes good. They also have a loyalty card.
Los Cardos is also found in Just Eat. This means you can order in advance on the web or even have a burrito delivered to you. I’ve yet to succumb to the delights of burrito at home because I’ve never managed to visit the site at a time when Los Cardos was offering deliveries and I can’t say I’ve figured out what the home delivery hours actually are.
The restaurant itself is very small (and has always been empty while I’m there). It barely counts as a restaurant with just a few tables – but if you need a seat then that’s all you need.
I’m glad Los Cardos is in Leith. It may not be great but it is good enough. My fear, though, is that if Tortilla where to ever open up in Edinburgh that they’ll be thrashed. Tortilla offer a similar model but the franchise, which seems to be conquering London, executes the strategy with a formidable perfection.