Tuesday, April 6, 2010

La Jolla Mexican

Guess what?  We forgot to take a picture of the food...again.  So, please enjoy the fun Fred and Stella photo from the restaurant instead of one of our yummilicious dishes. 

So, we digress...it was a most beautiful spring day in Indy.  We wanted to walk the Monon, but by the time we made it to Broad Ripple, light was waning and we decided to dine some place new...to us.  La Jolla, with it's ample outdoor seating and busy atmosphere called to us, so we answered!  The wait was somewhat lengthy, but we have to say, well worth it!

As it was a Thursday, the hotties and metros were out in force.  Especially at La Jolla.  It was definitely awesome people watching and hearkened Fred and Libby back to those college years...ah, to be young and tartly! ;) 

With an infant on one hip and a 5 year old scaling the half brick wall outside, it was obvious the FLOE was a little out of place.  Regardless, we were here to experience, eat, drink and be merry! 

We were seated at a perfect table on the deck with full view of Broad Ripple Ave and in the middle of the hustle and bustle.  Salsa and chips came quickly and wow, we were impressed by the hot, very flavorful salsa.  Not too shabby for what we thought would be at best, a good hang-out and hangover recovery establishment.

Yes, our server was busy, but he was good to get our drinks to us quickly and even took time to jaw with Ozzy here and there.  The menu offered typical mexican-american fare, but a couple of enchilada, burrito, and taco fillings stood out...chorizo and spinach & cream cheese...que?  Sign us up! 

With combo platters calling to our very grumbly tummies, Fred chose the chorizo taco and chicken enchilada, Libby the chorizo burrito and the spinach & cream cheese enchilada.  Both came with the very standard refried beans and spanish rice. Ozzy went with the cheese quesadilla...yes, there was a kid's menu!

Fred's combination was surprisingly tasty.  The chicken enchilada with green chilis was certainly above average, but the chorizo taco!  Yeah baby!  Pure fatty, hard fried pork with a delightful heat.  This place does not play around when it comes to spice.  Daddy like!  After the extra spicy salsa, he decided a second Negra Modelo was in order to tame the tongue.  His only complaint?  A $12 combo and he would have still been hungry had it not been for the chips and salsa.

Libby's top shelf margarita started the night off right.  Once the dish finally arrived, Libby was most excited to try the chorizo burrito.  Unlike other burritos, the shell had a slightly-baked, almost fried chewy texture.  This stood out from the usual raw flour tortilla burrito.  She had to actually cut it with a knife.  This turned out to be a very good thing.  Lots of texture and flavor.  The chimichanga was an excellent paring thanks to the creamy spinach filling and flaky fried crust.  Both of us agreed the spanish rice was "meh" at best, but the refried beans were a little bit eyebrow raising, giving extra life to anything else that happened to be on the fork at the time. 

Ozzy, of course, macked out on the chips sans salsa.  We had to start rationing.  But after a puny whining attempt, he grudgingly ate half his quesadilla.  Fred had a bite of the leftovers and decided that with a little of the outstanding salsa, he could have finished the whole plate.

Wrap Up
Price-$$, Perhaps a bit pricey for mexican.  But that would not deter us.
Atmosphere-*****, The first 5 we've ever given.  The people-watching and cantina atmosphere overlooking the Broadripple strip was entertainment in itself.  Pure bliss when it's been all-kiddos all-the-time for the past 5 years.
Service-**, They were careful to get drinks & chips to you quickly, but the kitchen could not keep up with the crowd.  

Fred - B+, Certainly above-average Mexican.  Is it better than La Piedad?  No way.  But when you add in the atmosphere, I'd call it a wash.  I'd happily head back any time. 
Libby - B+,  Ditto.  I can't agree more.  What La Jolla lacks in authenticity, they make up in atmosphere.  The spinach & cream cheese is effing genius.  I know it's not Mexican, but that's good *beep*.
Ozzy- A+ , Fun atmosphere.  He was entertained the entire time and even when he got loud, who on earth could have heard him above the crowd?!
Estelle- C+, Distracting atmosphere whose hotties and metros found her absolutely adorable. She handled it well, but this is not a high-chair offering establishment.  Not that we expected one, but it was obvious that they do not exactly cater to that crowd.  School-agers are OK, infants are a buzz-kill.

Addendum:  We're a little taken aback by the poor ranking on Urban Spoon.  Having been by the place often, it is always packed.  Yes, it's location location location, but we're wondering if people just discount it because of the hookup atmosphere..?

La Jolla Mexican on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

This place has the worst reputations in Broad Ripple for food quality and cleanliness in the kitchen amongst restaurant people (employees) in the area! I was very surprised to see a good review. I wouldn't eat a free meal there. I attribute 100 per cent of its business to its deck and the fact its prominence lures those uninitiated to Broad Ripple.

Fred, Libby, Ozzy and Estelle(Stella) said...

Thank you for reading! Your input explains the horrible rating on urbanspoon, but honestly, our experiece was very enjoyable. The setting did play a huge impact, but as far as we could tell, the eats were pretty good.

kaschlag said...

Love your reviews, Flo!

But I have to agree with Anonymous' description of La Jolla as having the worst rep for food in Broad Ripple. I have ALWAYS had (4+ times) stale chips and obviously reheated, gross 'texmex' food at this place.

I'm glad you had a good experience, and I totally agree with you that it's fun to people watch from the patio... but I would encourage you to go back before you dismiss urbanspooners' ratings of this place!

In closing the hygiene of this restaurant is laughable. Look in their bathroom or kitchen...gross.