‘Madness from the Americas’ at Locura

A new Latin-American restaurant called Locura opened last Friday in the old La La Land premises in Byron. The late-night bar will have an ‘epic cocktail list’, a strong focus on music, and chef Franco from Lima (Peru) will be showcasing the food of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru until late, including a vegan taco that chef Darren Robertson reckons has ‘nailed it’.

The six members of the Three Blue Ducks (Darren Robertson, Andy Allen, Mark LaBrooy, Chris Sorrell, Sam Reid and Jeff Bennett) are behind the bar, which is their fifth venue (Three Blue Ducks at The Farm was their third, and they opened another restaurant in W Hotel in Brisbane four months ago).

Four of the six-member team now live in Byron. ‘This is home now for a lot of us,’ said Darren Robertson, who has two young children under four. ‘I spend 95 per cent of my time in Byron, and although I have to go down to Sydney occasionally we are settled in.’ With the new Brisbane restaurant going well, the opportunity to move in to the premises right in the heart of Byron was too good to pass up, said Darren.

The venue has a late-night pedigree, and a pre-existing sound system that has been augmented with a retro horn and amp system called the Klipschorn, a 70-year-old design originally produced to recreate the experience of a live performance as dynamically and vividly as possible. Internationally recognised producer Jono Ma will be behind the music offering.

‘It’s a good place for people to go to carry on later at night,’ said Darren, ‘but with good service, good food and few drinks. Just like at The Farm, the emphasis will be on sustainable, ethical food and a lot of flavours.

‘Head chef Franco is from Lima [on the coast of Peru], and in combination with Freckle [from Byron Seafood] there will lots of seafood on the menu,’ but there will also be free-range pork, tostados and tacos, with vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes.

‘We are aiming for the very simple but delicious street-food idea; it will be ethical and organic food, using local produce, pasture raised and really tasty. We’re making a few different things; we’ll have a bit of fun and see where it goes.

‘Our opening menu will have a really delicious vegan taco. We really wanted someone to enjoy a vegan taco as much as the meat lovers do. I think we’ve nailed it with the flavours on this one,’ said Darren.

And that’s not the only unusual item on the menu, with the eclectic cocktail list including Mezcal-based mules with kombucha, and a special take on the classic Mexican favourite Michelada, and homemade Tepache – a fermented pineapple beverage made using the leftover pineapple skins from juicing at The Farm.

Award-winning bartender Tim Phillips (Dead Ringer and Bulletin Place in Sydney) will be joining forces with the rest of the Locura team to offer a simple, fun, fresh and flavoursome drinks menu to complement the food menu. 

Locura (means ‘madness’ in Spanish)
6 Lawson St, Byron Bay.
Open: 5pm till late


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