Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area Tequila

Downhill alert... Tequilas

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Restaurants & Bars

Downhill alert... Tequilas

Das Ubergeek | Jun 30, 2006 06:28 PM

Time was, Tequilas was a decent sit-down Mexican place with good margaritas, regular Mexican food (no regional specialities, just plain regular Mexican food) and cheap prices. It beat out its competition -- Casa Vega and Ernie's Taco House, for instance -- based on value.

I don't know if the ownership changed or what, but it has been on a steep slide lately. First they started adding "regional" stuff (which at the moment is limited to steak tampiqueño, enchiladas potosinas and ceviche veracruzana) which they don't do very well; then they jacked the prices; now the quality has slid.

The other night we went with friends and had one pitcher of "premium" margaritas, and we each had a meal -- two plates of enchiladas, one fajitas and one two-taco combination plate. The bill for the meal was $67 -- a year ago it would have been $45.

The tacos were full of the "ends" of the meat, greasy and gristly. The person who ordered them didn't eat them. The enchiladas were swimming in a pool of orange grease. And the fajitas were so salty that it took all the beans (also swimming in grease but yet underseasoned) to make them palatable. There used to be tortillas hechas a mano available for a dollar extra... no more; it's all straight out of a plastic bag, and slippery and rubbery from being steamed so long.

And the margaritas -- they were so bad we went to the bar to investigate. There, sitting out on the bar in the 80° ambient temperature, were the jugs of sour mix, and God only knows how long they were out.

When we went to complain, the waitress mysteriously stopped speaking English. Since I speak Spanish fluently, I switched, and asked to speak to the manager. "He's not here," she said. "Well, what's his name?" I asked. "I don't know, he's new."

Right. Sure. We paid the bill, left a low tip knowing it would be "este pinche gringo no me dejo mucha propina", and left.

If this had been the first time, we might have chalked it up to a bad night, but this is the third or fourth time we've noticed a severe slide in quality. We won't be returning -- there are so many Mexican restaurants in North Hollywood and Van Nuys that there's simply no excuse for wasting money on bad Mexican food.

BTW, this review is for the Tequilas on Victory and Woodman; I haven't been to the one on Magnolia and Clybourn in a year or so, and I haven't been to the "Tequilas Cantina" on Highland just south of the Hollywood Bowl, in the Best Western or whatever it is, ever.

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