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“Small place but excellent food and service”

La Playa Mexican Grille
Ranked #11 of 78 Restaurants in Port Aransas
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Fredericksburg, Texas
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Small place but excellent food and service”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We had about a 30 min. wait but it was worth it. The drinks were great. We were served chips and salsa while we waited. The menu wasn't just Mexican food. Had some fish entree's which were as delicious as the Mexican food.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank kenneth s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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335 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    157
    107
    40
    19
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Port Aransas, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Margaritas & Local Musician while you wait !!!”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Great Shrimp Enchiladas - Great Margaritas. !!! Grouper was excellent as well !!! ... Great local musician to listen to while you wait along with chips and salsa to keep you satisfied till your table is ready !

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rhonda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Temple, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Came at 7:15, left at 10:15 and only took 45 minutes to eat”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I have heard the saying "business comes where it's invited and stays where it is appreciated." I have worked in the restaurant business for years and I know what it's like to be a packed and busy restaurant. However, the experience at La Playa was TERRIBLE for me, even though I know and understand the inner workings of the food service industry.

Our group of 5 was quoted an hour wait at 7:15 on a Saturday night. That's normal for a Saturday dinner rush. After about an hour we flagged the hostess in passing and asked her about the status of our wait. She said she didn't know. A few minutes later she came to get another table and told us she was getting our table ready. We came inside and she told us she just needed to set the table up. We saw the table of 5 ready with silverware. However after standing at the door for a few minutes she asked for the name for our group. After we told her, she explained that it wasn't our table and we needed to wait longer. That was a little discouraging but we assumed the wait wouldn't be much longer.

After about 45 minutes longer, a member of our group went in to check. They showed her a booth that sat 4 and asked if we wanted to sit there. There were TWO booths open and we had still been waiting. We accepted the table and asked for a chair to sit on the end. They said they couldn't give us one. By this point it was after 9pm and they closed at 10pm so we just wanted to order and get out. The food came and we ate and left at about 10:15pm. The food was great and our server was kind even though she was pressed for time. We were ready to leave the restaurant, were frustrated and felt that our business was not needed or appreciated.

SUMMARY: The wait time didn't bother us, but it was misquoted. The hostess called us too early which got our hopes up and frustrated us. Additionally, the manager was not involved in any part of the mistake. Total wait time was more than 1 hour 45 minutes. They didn't give us the option of sitting at the four person table until we made a fuss about it. When at the four person table, they didn't allow us to have another chair, even though there were chairs available in the restaurant.

I think it's important for a popular restaurant to have two things.

First, they need a good manager. We saw who we assumed to be the manager, but he was making his 16 year old hostess do the dirty work of dealing with angry customers. He was under-dressed and didn't greet or seem to be managing anything. On our way out we saw him smoking a cigarette and telling stories to some men outside. La Playa is obviously popular due to their good food. But in order to make people want to return they would benefit from training their manager to make contact with customers, even if it's a sticky situation.

Second, good restaurants get busy and that's a great thing! But they've got to come up with a better way of handling the flow of tables to benefit their servers and cooks. I've worked at places where the manager was always at the door, greeting people and making sure they wait quote times were accurate, tables are sat efficiently, ect. La Playa has their 16-18 year old hostess at the door trying to handle big tables, wait times, angry customers, ect. We weren't impressed with her ability to manage the situation which is understandable since she probably wasn't taught properly by her manager.

Overall, this was one of the worst restaurant experiences I have ever had. If the food wasn't good, I'd say this place isn't worth even writing a review. I think they have potential if they change their attitude towards customers and better leadership. I hope someone in charge of La Playa reads this, not because I want to make them feel bad, but because I think their business could grow more positively if they change the problems listed above.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Katherine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great food!”
Reviewed 18 July 2014 via mobile

Very good food and reasonably priced. The place is small but that was kinda nice. You need to get there early they get very busy so you could be waiting for a table. Good bar and great service. Definitely recommend this place.

Helpful?
Thank Stephen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abilene, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awesome and worth the wait!”
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

We ate here our last night in Port A and were very impressed. We had to wait 45 minutes as they were busy and appeared short handed, but it was well worth the wait! The fish tacos were the best I have ever had and the ceviche appetizer was delicious. The waitress was obviously very busy but she took great care of us and was super attentive. We have recommended this place to everyone we know and will definitely be back next time we are in town!

Helpful?
1 Thank Megan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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