- Mary Jan 13, 2005 11:29 AM
Can anyone give me an opinion on Lauriol Plaza - the tex mex place near Dupont Circle? We read a restaurant review in the Washingtonian and we wanted to try it.
I'm not typically one to hate on restaurants that become overly popular, but this is one that has declined with its popularity in my opinion. The atmosphere is good if you want to throw back some margaritas in an extremely lively and bustling upscale hangout. The food almost seems to have become an afterthought. It's fine, in my opinion, but doesn't justify the price.
On occasion, however, when the season is right, I will still go there and enjoy a margarita-sweetened lunch with friends on a Saturday out on the deck. It serves a limited purpose in my life...when I go, it is more often the result of being outvoted by my friends.
Since it is something of an institution, it is worth going once if you haven't been. Form your own opinion...it's definitely not for everyone.
I agree with Lowbar - it's certainly not terrible, and I've definitely enjoyed myself there on many occasions, but it's usually as part of a group and usually at someone else's suggestion. On a nice, warm night it can be ridiculously hectic and crowded, and I'll be shocked if you're greeted warmly by the hostess staff, but (esp. if you can get a spot on the roof and aren't expecting anything spectactular) it's definitely an enjoyable spot to down a couple of margaritas and munch on pretty good food. But it can get pricey, especially if you're with a group and don't watch what you're drinking.
It's been several months, but I've always enjoyed it. Can't vouch for ethnic authenticity, but have had good Margaritas, fajitas, chilli relenos. etc.
Usually very busy and somewhat hectic, but good service in spite of the chaos.
I've always been outside -looked even wilder inside.
Lauriol is more quasi-latin than tex-mex. The black beans are tolerable and the grilled meats tasty. The specialty drink is an over-sweetened margarita and there is a tremendous crush of humanity by six o'clock. The best move is to get there about five and get a table on the roof, as the din inside is nearly intolerable. They refuse to mix a mojito, which is a shame as it would be a nice antidote to the margaritas. You can only stand so many popsicles. The food in general is not bad, though.
I don't dislike it as much as others, but it's halfway decent Mexican/Tex-Mex in an area where good Mexican is really hard to find. (And I'm picky about my Mexican food.) They are a sister restaurant to Cactus Cantina, if that is any help. The space is pleasant but the largest drawback is the crowds. Once you're in the food is fine and the atmosphere is enjoyable - if you're okay with noise.
If you don't like the wait, head just a few blocks to the corner of 18th and Florida and you'll find El Tamarindo, which, while Salvadoran in origin, does a surprisingly good job with Mexican food in a much lower key environment.
The food, tex-mex is heavy (heavy beans, lots of cheese, guac, sour cream, etc.) and portions are good-sized.
We went last weekend as a party of 6 and shared
one fajitas for 2 people
2 fajitas for 1 person (fajitas for 4 people total)
and ended up walking away with tons of food on the table.
There are many restaurants where entree splitting would both raise eyebrows and leave you hungry, LP is not one of them.