La Casita (#270, 7/30/13) – 58
The “brand new, snazzy little taqueria on Julia Street” is La Casita. And it’s…pretty good. Nothing great, but I like the “snazzy little” part of their description. It’s a tiny place with a tiny kitchen, but the key thing I think ti has going for it is its Happy Hour specials. $4 margaritas, $2 tacos, half off queso? Yes, that sounds solid to me.
I did not go for happy hour though, it was a lunch drop-in. The atmosphere was pretty good; again, it’s a very small place, but nicely set-up, almost looks like an old hole-in-wall pub, but clean and decently decorated. I am thinking it deserves some solid atmosphere points because I wasn’t blow away by anything else, but still liked it for some reason. I’ll give it a 20 out of 30 for atmosphere.
The food was good. Not remarkable, but good. It has a very basic menu based around tacos. I tried a mission taco and a basic shredded brisket taco, both were pretty good. One issue was that we switched some cheese onto a taco in place of avocado…and they charged us an extra $1. It’s really not a big deal, but adding avocado is $1.25 and adding cheese is $1. It seems like replacing wouldn’t come with the same charge. I don’t really argue that they couldn’t do that – it says right on the menu that cheese is an extra dollar, but c’mon, you’re a new place, don’t be nickle-and-diming people. They also have some funky drinks. The horchata is some weird tasting drink made from rice in-house daily. I still don’t know what to make of it; I’d like to give one a try with a little bit of rum mixed in. They also had some sort of watermelon soda which was interesting. As far as food, I think it was solid, so 30 points out of 50.
Finally, we get down to the service. Bottom line, it wasn’t very good. Not terrible or anything, just relatively slow and uninspired. Seems like most of the new places I go to, they are a little excited to be working there, but our waitress wasn’t that into it. Not a big deal, but takes some points off; they get an eight out of 20 for service.
Final score = 58.