You are reading

Mexican Restaurant Focusing on Fine Dining Opens on 30 Avenue

Hoja Santa (Photo: Carolina Parroquin)

May 24, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A restaurant focused on high-end Mexican cuisine opened on 30 Avenue in Astoria last month. 

Hoja Santa, located at 40-17 30 Ave., offers elevated versions of traditional Mexican fare, and focuses on artistic presentation of the dishes as well.

The 1,500 square foot locale, which officially opened on April 20, is owned by 22-year-old Forest Hills resident Carolina Parroquin and managed by her father, Mauricio Parroquin.

The restaurant’s name Hoja Santa, which means “sacred leaf” in Spanish, is an aromatic Mexican pepper leaf that is heart shaped and traditionally used to make tamales, a traditional Mexican dish.

The family said it aims to bring traditional Mexican flavors to Astoria in the most sophisticated form. The interior decor has a modern Mexican feel.

“There are restaurants in Manhattan with different interpretations of Mexican food but there was a gap that needed to be filled in Astoria,” Mauricio said.

“Usually people think Mexican food has to be spicy or greasy,” said Mauricio. “We select the best parts of traditional Mexican flavors and make little changes to make flavor softer and refine the ingredients.”

Unique dishes the locale offers include: Pastel Azteca, a dish consisting of layers of corn tortillas, seafood such as shrimp, calamari, and octopus, melted cheese, and green poblano sauce, made from poblano peppers. Another specialty dish is Carnitas de Pato, which consists of tacos that contain shredded duck, roasted with flavors of cinnamon and orange.

Chipotle Sea Scallop Dish (Photo: Hoja Santa Instagram: @hojasantanyc )

The restaurant’s chipotle scallop dish is also popular, featuring sea scallops sautéed in olive oil and onions with a rich and smoky chipotle pepper sauce.

Mauricio said that he has applied for a full liquor license and is waiting on the State Liquor Authority to sign off on it. In the interim, he is offering a few specialty non-alcoholic beverages.

Drinks of this variety include different flavors of Agua Fresca, a drink that is made by blending water and fruits with lime juice and sugar; as well as Horchata, a cold traditional Mexican drink that is made by soaking rice overnight and combining the rice milk with water, condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Owner Carolina Parroquin, a recent graduate from Baruch Business School, says she knows a lot about the restaurant industry since her father owned eateries while she grew up.

Carolina’s father was the previous owner of the now closed Fiesta Mexicana on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights and Taco Fiesta on Queens Boulevard in Corona.

“Although I am young, I am very familiar with the business being that I grew up in my father’s restaurants,” Carolina said. “I feel well prepared to run this restaurant with my background in business entrepreneurship and management with the help of my team.”

The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Hoja Santa interior (Photo: Carolina Parroquin)

email the author:


Click for Comments 

They don’t have a liquor license, and won’t allow BYOB. Not smart for a Mexican restaurant.

Mark E. Johnson

I pass by this restaurant almost daily. I wish they would post a menu in the window. I have no idea what is being offered nor the price range.


Why would I want to pay more money for Mexican food that I can get for cheaper price and better authentic taste at a small mom and pop family run Mexican restaurant where I don’t have to pay more than $10 for a meal??


Eaters love Mexican Food! Its a shame that we do not have a Taco Bell for most of the locals around here who are on a budget.

Bill Burcalow

1. Taco Bell is not mexican, it’s tex-mex, at best.
2. There’s one literally a block away from the place.

Pat Macnamara

“There are restaurants in Manhattan with different interpretations of Mexican food but there was a gap that needed to be filled in Astoria” Ummmm that gap didn’t need to be filled anywhere. If the food is good, people will eat there.

Ivan Beacco

I wish them the best of luck and that they may finally be able to break the curse of that location.
In the past 10 years there have been at least 5 incarnations of different businesses opening (and closing quickly after) on that corner. Some were not exactly the greatest formulas in my humble opinion, but few others were excellent in the food department, the service and the ambience. There is just something going on with that particular spot…..


You’ve never heard of, say, the Queens Mexican restaurant Casa Enrique? They have a Michelin star. You should get out more.

Pat Macnamara

Great that you have that much disposable income to eat out as much as you like. I prefer the taco trucks after I drink myself into oblivion. Delicious food made by wonderful Mexican people without the pretense of “fine dining” associated with it.


I can also get pizza but that doesn’t mean we don’t need Del Posto.
You can get a MacFish sandwich so who needs Le Bernardin?
Choices are good.
Mexican food is one of the world’s great cuisines.
It’s regional and complex and there’s no reason it shouldn’t also be fine dining.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Islander gets 3-9 years for stealing homes across Queens belonging to elderly or disabled owners: AG

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a Long Island man was sentenced to three to nine years in prison Friday for leading a deed theft ring that resulted in five homes being stolen from vulnerable Queens residents and saw them earn more $1 million in ill-gotten gains.

Marcus Wilcher, 48, of Carll Drive in Bay Shore, pleaded guilty in May to grand larceny in the second degree in Queens Supreme Court for his role in leading the crew following an investigation by the Attorney General’s office.

NYPD searching for burglary crew that targeted nearly 30 laundromats in Queens and others in Brooklyn and the Bronx

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst are looking for three masked men who broke into Susan’s Laundromat at 85-12 Grand Ave. at around 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while a fourth member of their crew acted as a lookout near their getaway car parked in front.

The burglars stole $1,800 in cash and removed a payment machine for the laundry room continuing an undetermined amount of cash.