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One more Las Mesas update

susancinsf | Aug 19, 200401:07 PM

a friend and I tried Las Mesas last night. We got take out so that we could enjoy our dinner with a beer or three from Toronado. No problem of course taking the food to Toronado and plenty of space to spread out all that food on a back room table.

Sigh, no molletes. Friend had decent chicken fajitas, but I am not a fajitas fan. He gave them a B+. An order of guacamole tasted like what I would make at home, (Though with just a bit less heat), which is to say it was very fresh, had no mayo or other abominations, and was pretty darn good. Chips were only ok, they charge a dollar for chips and and salsa, and though the gauc is also supposed to come with chips we only got one small bag with our order (despite ordering the chips and salsa AND the guac and chips). I assumed since they charged for chips and salsa that they would also pack up the salsa but instead, once I asked, they directed me to the very good salsa bar on a nearby counter. Only very small containers available so it took a while to pack up enough salsa (wish I had known to do this while we waited for the order!)....lesson learned: if you order something else with chips, there is no reason to order chips and salsa: the salsa is free, you get no more chips anyway. A minor but annoying detail.

I had the the only special available, which was a tostada. It was called something else, but basically was a chicken tostada. The chicken and queso fresco was quite tasty, but there was a dressing on the lettuce that tasted like bottled italian. Came with excellent black beans and well-made rice, along with some of the great homemade (corn) tortillas that others have mentioned.

Unfortunately, the tortillas weren't hot by the time we ate them. Part of the problem of course was that they were packaged in foil for the take out, but that wasn't the only issue: which leads to my biggest critism of Las Mesas: though it wasn't extremely crowded, service was very, very slow. I noticed other diners waiting as impatiently as we were and we also noticed the foil wrapped tortillas sitting out on the counter for a looonggg time while the rest of our order was prepared.

Since the delay appeared to be at least partially related to the fact that food is prepared fresh and to order here, which is of course a good thing, I'd say, particularly given the nice atmosphere, and the nature of the salsa bar, that Las Mesas is really a much better choice for eating in than for takeout. Hopefully they will be licensed soon.

I agree with earlier posters that this is a very good neighborhood taqueria, but I don't get the sense that it will ever be a destination spot for specials and certainly not the outstanding Mexico City style restaurant of my dreams.....(would be great if I am wrong, but it just seems to have an established vibe already, despite being new).


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