Maybe I don't understand, or it was an off night, but I don't get the hype.
Until earlier tonight, I had not been to Los Sombreros in years; on the last visit, Jeff Smedstad was at the helm. I keep seeing high praise on this board about it, even after changing hands, so we went and had an early (6:15p) dinner there tonight. Maybe my expectations were too high.
Started with the queso fundido ($8.95) - greesy! It tasted good, don't get me wrong, and I liked the flavor and texture (this can be a big turn-off for me) of the chorizo, but the whole thing was sitting in a pool of grease from the cheese. I couldn't figure out if the chips and salsa they brought out before the queso were free, because they charge $1.95 per refill. Regardless, I had no complaints about either, as the salsa was fresh, if not boring, and the chips were slightly warm.
Entrees - SO ordered the carnitas ($15.95) w/o the guacamole (avocado allergy, almost a deal-breaker), and I got the lamb adobo ($19.95). The carnitas were excellent - best tasting food I put in my mouth all night; tender, with bits of crunch you expect, and nice smoky flavor. The lamb adobo on the other hand, while tender, was a little disappointing. First off, we're talking about a braise here, that meat should be ridiculously tender. While it was quite tender, I feel as though they under-braised it; probably could have used another half-hour or so. The generous bowl was filled with a more-sweet-than-spicy adobo sauce. I had read many great things about this dish, but I feel I was not served the same dish that has received so much praise.
A couple notes about the sides - they were completely passe. Rice and beans, these are things that you get at virtually every Mexican restaurant, and LS' are some that I have already forgotten; Tradiciones' rice is WAY better, and Rancho de Tia Rosa's beans are equally superior. Serviceable, yes, flavorful, not so much. SO ordered the veg and same goes (what do you expect?). AND THE TORTILLAS???? A complete bust - they couldn't possibly have made these white corn tortillas, I have purchased tortillas virtually identical in taste at Food City.
So overall, I'm really disappointed because I was expecting much better. What gives? Did we catch them on an off-night or are they really that average?
Service was ok, given the crowd, but being seated next to a stack of wood out front was a little strange. I believe most of the back patio was reservations, and I did not want to site outside on this beautiful night.
Would love to hear some feedback. Thanks!