The exterior doesn't look like much but you can't judge a book by its cover. Pass through the front door and you find yourself in a lovely dining room ... More
Serenata Restaurant (la)
The exterior doesn't look like much but you can't judge a book by its cover. Pass through the front door and you find yourself in a lovely dining room complete with Mexican paintings, textiles and art. The friendly and attentive staff can recommend several wonderful dishes from the large, seafood-based menu. Among the better choices are Gorditas Stuffed with Shrimp, Fish Enchiladas and amazing Shrimp Quesadillas. Regulars regard it as the best Mexican cooking north of the border.
The staff is awkward and generally not in a good mood. We ordered chips, salsa, and guacamole while looking a the menu.
The chips were either out a bag and were very old, as they stunk like old oil. The cheese on top of the chips was not even melted nor was it fresh. The salsa tasted like sh** and was very bitter and sour, I think it was way too old and had gone bad. The worse was the guacamole, which was so old that the color on the surface was much darker than the color under and it tasted sour and as if you are having a fizzy water.
The decor was awful... the tables were covered with cheap plastic and were not cleaned properly. Food from previous customers was still spread and smudged on the table plastic cover. The room had a bad echo and was way too loud.
The service was terrible. The lady who served us could not speak a word of English and had to ask the host to help her. The host, a tall bod man, was extremely rude. When we complained about the appetizer he said You don t like it? You still have to pay for it . That is where I just stop talking to the man and paid for the food we had order and could not resist more than a bite (which i wanted to throw up on the table). After paying we immediately left the restaurant. The valet guy was the only nice guy and told us that it is very common that people who come here are very dissatisfied and walk out after an appetizer or a drink.
One of the ZAGAT users had mentioned that this restaurant is the best Mexican restaurant. I just want to make one thing very clear... this place does not even qualify as a food sh** hole let alone being a restaurant.
Food: distasteful, old, expired, ugly
Decor: ugly, nasty, filthy, dirty
Service: terrible, rude, aweful
Cost per person: too much!
FYI: a note to ZAGAT... you guys are screwing your review quality by even considering this place in your surveys.
NOTICE - only people giving it 5 stars are those that are not from Mexican descent...
If you are expecting to have an authentic home made Mexican meal this is not the place for you.
This place is not what I expected, don't be fooled by appearances, the food does not live up to grandiose name of the place. Unless you are not familiar with what real Mexican food is you will be disappointed, not to mention the poor service and lack of Mariachi playing in the background...
1. When you show up there will be no parking so you will have to 'valet' your car and pay $3.50...this means park your car in the back parking lot of the restaurant and pay a guy three fifty to hold your keys.
2. Once inside, the place is crowded with tables and chairs to fill up the space, if your party is larger than 3 you will be practically sitting with other parties because there is no large tables or sections.
3. Although the wait staff is dressed up and looking like a million bucks, their service was very poor! There is only 1 Waiter for the entire place plus a bus girl...expect to wait for refills (of anything), that is if you remind them of your request.
4. The menu says there is fresh fruit water/juice available, well apparently they only have melon water because that's all I've read on here and that is what they were serving that day.
5. We had a party of 7, almost everyone ordered something different off the menu, none of the dishes were close to being good Mexican food. The simplicity of the dishes is over powered by the strong spices that are unnecessary! Previous reviews rave about the basket of chips and quesadilla (SINGULAR) they bring you, well make sure to ask for seconds because that is the only good thing you will taste!
All dishes come with what is a scoop of white garlic rice which is undercooked with a hard texture and full of stinky garlic and salt, it's awful! They also bring you a small side portion of pinto beans and hand made tortillas if y our dish calls for it.
a. Pollo con mole = dry chicken breast, dressed in red chili sauce (the chicken is not marinated in the sauce to absorb the flavors and it is so dry!)
b. Chile's Rellenos = the peppers were undercooked, when you cant cut thru a peeper it means its still raw!! They leave the tails on the peepers which are full of peeper seeds you can't help but spit out. The sauce is ok, nothing special.
c. Cheese Enchiladas = the enchilada sauce is full of unnecessary spices, it leaves a bad after taste in your mouth.
d. Enchiladas Suizas = drenched in sauce they fall apart before you can even take a bite.
I'll stop here, making myself sick from just remembering the food.
The waiter never came back to check on the table until it was time to order desert. He brings out a tray full of what are supposed to be Mexican delicatessens, the only pastry that made the cut is the key lime pie (it's not even Mexican!!).
a. Flan - fell short, it's water based and bland
b. Pastel de 3 leches - it's a piece of sponge cake doused in cinnamon flavored condensed milk. Again, the bread is not marinated in the liquid and it's not soaked so it's is not real 3 leches cake!!
Finally, the bill...oh let me tell you about the check! Apparently they add the gratuity for a party of 7, not 8...what a surprise, not to mention the $3.50 they get you for at the beginning of your visit! You are basically paying to eat in a nice place, not for eating great food or having outstanding service...i'd rather go eat tacos at the corner stand than ever come here again!
The sauce used for the Huevos Rancheros is worth a trip alone! everything was so good even the coffee was brewed to perfection! I can not say enough good things about this place excellent staff, easy valet parking, beautiful interiors and delicious food. this is the best mexican breakfast i've had in the city (not including my grandma's house)
I live in LA and have probably eaten at nearly 50 different Mexican restaurants, taco joints, burrito trucks, etc. La Serenada de Garibaldi is the best of the sit-down, non-casual Mexican resteraunts in Los Angeles. The food is amazing from the empanadas for appetizers to the fish or steak gourmet dishes for the main course. When my family has guests from out of state and wants to impress them with the great Mexican food only available in Los Angeles, we always take them to Serenada. HIGHLY RECOMMENED. You will NOT be let down.
A feeling of well-being stole over me as I began on my appetizer of scallop tacos, and only deepened as I proceeded onto my entree of shrimp enchiladas in cilantro sauce. A few sips of my dining partner's Margarita were also cause for delight - delicious even to this non-drinker! The rooms are well proportioned, the tables are spaced comfortably, and the lighting is perfect for viewing the beautiful presentations. Our waiter was gracious, efficient and knowledgeable, and really added to our experience. I walked out feeling blessed and that's a good sign.
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