Menu Selections: Chips and Salsa, Pina Rita, Coco Rita, The Horny, The Skinny, El Capitan, Snapper Santa Monica
The concept and vision of this place is ingenious. From the moment you walk in, you feel as if you've immediately traveled to a coastal Mexican city and are vacation. There is a small amount of inside seating, but outside is where you want to be. Imagine gravel grounds, lush palm trees, picturesque fountains, and tables that are transformed into private cabanas (complete with fans). To add to the atmosphere, some drinks out served of hollowed out pineapples and coconuts! All that's missing is a giant hibiscus flower behind your ear (for the ladies) and linen pants (for the gents).
To add to the "Mexican vacation" atmosphere (and not in a good way), is the language barrier. Several of the waiters and bartenders don't speak English very well, making it difficult to ask questions and communicate overall. And the visits to the table, including the initial, are few and far between....island time?
I have dined here a few years back and sadly, the quality of the food (and service) has gone downhill tremendously. The fish in the past was cooked perfectly, whereas both of the snapper platters this time around were blatantly overcooked. And although the sauces were great-an orange glaze for the El Capitan and a lemon butter for the Santa Monica, it was piled on thick, perhaps to compensate for the poor quality of the fish. I would most assuredly ask for the sauce on the side, now having this knowledge. The chips and 2 types of salsa (a cilantro-pineapple and traditional red salsa) as well as the friend plantains were both delicious, but I think it's pretty hard to screw these things up.
The novelty of drinking out of fruit is such a fun concept, and the only other place I've seen that has this is in Costa Rica. That in itself is worth a trip at one point. However, the size of the drinks have also diminished over the years, so, order 2! Or in our case, a supplemental margarita. The Horny was so-so, but The Skinny was much better. I'm a firm believer that skinnies are usually better than the regulars because they have no choice but to use better tequila as it's not masked by all the mix/sugar.
Will I be back! Sure, when the weather's nice, I'm in the mood for a respite from the city atmosphere and for playful Pina Rita's.