Portland >Food & Dining > Cafe Azul Inc
112 NW 9TH Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.524041 -122.679977
Tue-Thu 5:30pm-9pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-9:30pm
Neighborhoods: Pearl, Neighbors West - Northwest
Mole days – Outstanding overall dining experience. Smaller than expected, especially the bar, but it keeps the focus on the restaurant and food, which is where this establishment excels. The salsa appetizer was fun as was the tequila sampler. Food selections were varied and innovative, especially the mole's (moe-layz); only lack was no good fish dish. Great service and ambience - it's well worth going here whether you go out every night or just once a month.
Ole! – Excellent food! Fresh! Authentic and miles above the Tex-mex fare that dominates over most of Portland.
Tried to like it! – Now that I've eaten at Azul maybe 5 or 6 times, I can say, I still don't care for their food, noisey atmosphere and very inconsistent service. The food either tries too hard and is usually too complex with different ingredients fighting against eachother, or just plain flat. The service in my opinion has never been very good. The staff comes accross as snotty and not very well trained. The price tag insists that you have recieved an out of world dining experience, but fails to deliver. Too Bad!!
why? – I found the food to be medicore and over priced. The service and atmoshere are good, but I really do not understand why people think this place is that great.
Exuberant – Local food with great Oaxacan flavors, well prepared, gotta love those Archibald sisters and that Nancy sure makes a killer drink! Dining at the bar is a joy!
Truly authentic – When I tell people about this restaurant... I find myself trying to explain the difference between what most people know as mexican food and the cuisine from this establishment. I found out it's easier to just say that only my mother could cook better than them. The best authentic mexican food I've had in years.
La Comida Mas Excellente en Portland! – Cafe Azul is consistant, yet full of surprises! The service is flawless. The food is freshly prepared with the touch of a master chef.
I have never enjoyed higher quality up-scale Mexican food, anywhere. And I do travel to several regions in Mexico, regularly.
Less cheese, more flavor... – They could use more desserts and the prices don't have the range they used to, but it's still great stuff. As good as any of the high end restaurants like Heathman, Higgins, Wildwood, etc, but with Mexican flavors. Great authentic dishes. I love the salsas, the desserts, and the stewed dishes. This isn't Tex-Mex, so don't expect a bunch of cheddar dripping everywhere. It's authentic. It's about comfort foods done as high cuisine with chiles as the backbone of the dishes.
say no to the entree – Drinks, homemade chips, salsas, salads were excellent, the entrees we had were lousy. We ordered the babyback pork ribs, they tasted like reheated ribs with a very bitter scauce poured over them. Not what we expected.
A Great deal of Attitude – I tried prior to this visit to eat a Cafe Azul. I walked in without reservations to an empty restaurant. THe "hostess" informed me that they could not seat us because they were expecting those with reservations within the next 45 minutes. So we went to OBA. This time we called and requested reservations for 6pm, the hostess again took control and told us they could take us at 5:45 or 6:15, "Which would we like?" We took 6:15 but showed up at 6pm, to a nearly empty restaurant. What gives Cafe Azul? DO you need that much control over your guests? As for the food, I have one word for the chef, SALT!!!!! The soup was bland and flavorless. The taco plate was small and very unimaginative. And the wine list is practically not worth reading. If you want a dining evening with a Latin Flare, go to OBA.
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