Alameda >Restaurants >
Mexican >La Penca Azul
1440 Park St, Alameda, CA | Directions 9450137.765144 -122.242036
Bay Area's Best Mexican Food! – I love, love, love the food here. I could drink their salsa as it soooo good. The service is always top notch. After being a frequent patron for the past 12 years ( Both La Pinata & La Penca Azul) I can honestly say I am still in love with this place.
Standard Mexican Fare – So, the chips and salsa are really good here, and the atmosphere is fun...
The service was slow throughout the whole meal. It took a long time for us to order, and a long time to get the check. Then, it took a long time to get them to take the payment for the check - over 15 minutes before they took our cards.
I ordered the vegetarian chimichanga. The menu said the veg option would be full of onions, zucchini, etc. It was mostly just rice inside (which I already had on my plate) . There were itty-bitty pieces of veggies, but it was nothing like I was expecting.
All of the food we ordered was standard Mexican-American fare. Pretty good but nothing unique - and in huge portions.
One of my dinner companions got the hamburger. A strange place for a burger, I know - but he said it was pretty good.
200 types of tequila, what else needs to be said? – A great place to hang out with a bunch of friends or take your special little lady to. Their food is amazing. I always get the Steak Fajitas. I've made it a personal mission to try all 200 tequilas they serve before the end of 2009. I'll keep you guys posted on that.
Up to date on trends in tequila: Hacienda de los Diaz is promoted this month and ITS GREAT – Tequilas are what *really* make dining at La Pinata special. Not many Mexican places have that many tequilas--and a staff that knows something about most of them. And their selection expands as they find new high-quality products; their recently added "Hacienda de los Diaz" is a flavor to remember; the best 'reposado' I have ever tried.
With respect to food and other aspects of the Pinata experience: this is a place whose biggest problem is its high quality; the quality brings large crowds, which can (but doesn't always) make for erratic service and other customer-volume-related unpleasantries. These flaws are more than canceled out by the portion sizes and the fact that LP is open past midnight on weekends!
watch out for the margaritas – I go here every once in a while. It's very busy and the bartenders are only nice to their friends, it seems.
The drinks are strong, however, and tasty.
The food is average. I do like the whole fried fish.
Don't order the micro-waved nachos and flautas that turn to rubber shortly after being served.
The place is packed every night and day.
Muy Bueno – I have never had a bad dish at La Pinata III. Nor have I had a bad drink. The service is quick, the food is delicious, and the atmospher is fun. For those of you who swear by menudo for a hangover cure then this is a must. The burritos are filling and the margarita's come in large and small. It's always a good time at La Pinata III.
Go to one of the other locations – We got much better service at the locaiton in Fremont & didn't have to stand in a crowded hallway for an hour for a table.
FAMOSO LOVE – Don't ask for a menu. You don't need it. LIsten up kiddo's all you have to say is "one Famoso please". That's right the "Famoso" burrito is the size of a human head and if you finish it you will experience the "famoso sweats". For an extra buck I recommend asking for carne asada.
For under $7.00 you get pure happiness. Tell them T-BONE sent you and you may get seated quickly.
Everything you look for in a restaurant – When the chips and salsa are addicting - you know anything on the menu will surely win you over. Generous portions of consistenly delicious food in a spacious atmosphere with fast and friendly service are all reasons why this place is an absolute crowd pleaser. And those crowds do flock so plan on getting there a little early.
Editorial Review – Traditional Mexican fare plus bar with more than 200 types of tequila; try the lunch specials and Sunday brunch.
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