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La Sandia Restaurant: Excellent Environment With Sub-Par Meals

Anita Dukart |
September 13, 2011 | 6:17 p.m. PDT

Contributing Writer

Grilled Chicken Tacos at La Sandia (Anita Dukart)
Grilled Chicken Tacos at La Sandia (Anita Dukart)

The environment at La Sandia Restaurant sets expectations high, but the food doesn't quite deliver.

When walking into La Sandia, it's difficult to ignore that they have achieved an excellent balance of a relaxed, romantic, chic atmosphere. Twinkling bulbs hang from the ceiling, right next to bronze statues and exotic tile work. All the waiters are dressed in red button down shirts, lending itself to the classy, fun side of the restaurant. 

It seems like La Sandia would make the perfect date destination-- impressive, but cozy.

Prices are in the $13-$20 range, with their fresh guacamole appetizer running a steep $10.95 for the smaller portion. However, the guacamole is made individually for each table, so perhaps it might be worth the fresh taste and experience if you went with a larger group.

The obligatory chips and salsa that start every meal are completely satisfying. The salsa can be enjoyed by everyone because it is very flavorful without being too spicy. The chips themselves are fairly standard.

The tamale appetizer ($8.95) comes with two tamales smothered in a sweet chipotle sauce, garnished with a couple of slices of avocado. The tamales taste authentic and delicious, but I can't really say the same for the sauce, which is overpowering. I think the dish would be just right if the sauce was drizzled over the tamales, rather than poured. 

The grilled chicken tacos ($12.95), however, lack flavor. Though the combination of cilantro, onion, and lime taste fresh, the chicken itself is a little bit dry.

That said, the black beans and rice served with the grilled chicken tacos are fantastic!

La Sandia is simply too unpredictable for it's price point. Though I enjoy the atmosphere and conversation, I will probably not return.


Reach Anita Dukart here.

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