My wife and I had a long week and decided to finally try El Gato Azul. We had read all of the reports and reviews but decided to check it out ourselves.
It was the "Fourth Friday" in Prescott, which meant that there was an art walk. We got there at around 6:00 and already the restaurant and patio were filled save for two two tops. We were offered one in the middle of the main dining room next to a group of 8, which we readily accepted. Knowing that it was slammed I did not expect great or prompt service, but we truly did not wait too long for our server to take our initial orders.
As I said, it had been a week so I ordered us two martini's and two glasses of water. The martinis arrived, and you can imagine my reaction when I saw them (see picture). They came in Margarita glasses and had three of the smallest cocktail olives I have ever seen! We chuckled and the waitress apologized and said that they did not have Martini glasses (really? a bar/restaurant and no martini glasses?!). we diid not, however, get our waters.
We also ordered an hummus appetizer, which was delivered shortly thereafter. I reminded the server about the water and she acknowledged forgetting and promptly got our waters. The hummus was pleasant (it changes frequently), and had six large garlic cloves right in the middle along with a small puddle of olive oil, and olives. The hummus is served with soft pita triangles and tasted nice, even considering the puddle. The garlic was roasted and soft and delicious. I was hopping that the rest of the meal followed suit.
This restaurant has two faces - tapas or full meals. We went back and forth and decided on the tapas. The table next to us has several dishes and the waitress suggested several. We took her advice on the shrimp Gambas Espinaca, the Sticky Chicken, fried artichokes and Chorizo meatballs. We also ordered two glasses of their mid-teir Pinot - NOTE: the wine list is DIFFERENT form what is online.
When the tapas was delivered, without asking the server removed our hummus plate despite there being a small amount left (that in truth I did intend to eat). What then struck me was the chorizo meatballs - the table next to us had several large meatballs with a small covering of cheese. What we received was six golfball sized meatballs swimming in cheese. At $9.95 for this one I suspect most of the cost was the cheese! The other dishes looked decent and appetizing.
I first tried the shrimp. We received three shrimp and some chips. Sadly, the shrimp were cooked right but the sauce was very heavy. Pita chips are served with most dishes and these could not be eaten as they had already turned to mush. I don't know what "Gambas Espinaca" means in English, but at $8 I would have appreciated another shrimp and less sauce. Certainly a less greasy sauce.
Next came the fried artichokes. OK, these were great. They were drizzled with sauce and while not big fried food eaters, these worked. At $6 an order we should have gotten two, although we did not eat all of them. This was not due to there being so many, it is due primarily to the fact that again the server removed the dish while there was still food left. Again, she did this without asking.
I next tried the chicken. It consisted of four skewers of correctly cooked chicken - not too done or too undone. The sauce was light but enjoyable, and not the sticky that I anticipated. This, too was a decent dish at $7.
Oh, the meatballs? Well, they were made of chorizo but not too greasy as I anticipated. It was what is claimed to be "parmesan au gratin cream sauce that got me. It tasted more like shredded colby-jack put under a salamander and melted. Way too thick and overpowering.
The total bill was $80. The value was not there, as there was a lot of grease and the tapas was heavy. I would not say that I would not go back, but I certainly would not rush back or put it high on our list. I suspect that if we were sitting in the patio and listening to the music it would have been different, but as we did not I have to rate it accordingly. $80 could have been better spent in another restaurant.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.