Nativo Mexican Taqueria

Jackie McMillan
3rd Nov 2023

Dining at Nu'u by Nativo made me curious about owner-chef Manuel Diaz’s origin story. So I tracked down his initial taqueria, Nativo Mexican Taqueria in Pyrmont. It’s set in a little outdoor plaza over the John Street light rail stop, making it an easy spot to hop off and grab a quick bite to eat. There are separate menus for lunch and dinner, with the later meal — more focused on tacos — eating best. The star of the show is the beef birria ($10) where spicy strands of 12-hour slow cooked beef brisket mingle under a bright tomatillo salsa on a crisp taco. It’s messy but very satisfying. Pork cochinita ($9) sees pork shoulder turned red and acidic with annatto and citrus. It’s very wet and blows out the soft taco casing before I can deliver it into my gob. The chorizo taco ($10) is better with fresh guacamole piled onto a flattened and charred skinless chorizo sitting on a soft thin taco. The latter two tacos benefited from additional house-made and fruity spicy salsa — the beef didn’t need it — available for $1.50 per tub. 

For a lunch taken at one of just a handful of outdoor tables, you can use the same spicy salsa to dress up quesadillas ($16). Stretchy Oaxaca cheese is teamed with your protein of choice (go the beef) in soft tortilla, which are toasted then served up with a side of guacamole. As the chilaquiles ($10) already come with black beans, throwing in an extra protein will set you back an additional five bucks. The corn chips didn’t have the structural integrity to withstand all the juices generated by the pork, cheesy cream and salsa verde, so this dish was a sloppy mess (it was however tasty). It is probably a bad idea to wear white...