Someone please fix La Verdad
I really want to like this place. I mean, the food is good (sometimes great); some of the best tacos in the Boston area; reasonable bartending. But the service seems to have gone downhill since my last visit.
Last night we walked in and it was nearly empty (though the outside patio was full by the time we left and the inside about half full). Seated immediately but no server for a good 5 minutes. No water appeared at any point during the meal (guess we needed to ask for it). Put in our entire order when he did arrive and waited another good five minutes for the drinks. The first michelada we ordered was undrinkable - like they put half a bottle of hot sauce in the glass - had to send it back, the second was not much better. (I had the same drink there before and it was fine.)
Dishes come out in seemingly random order - I believe we had one plate of tacos on the table before the grilled corn app arrived. That was about the last we saw of our waiter - despite sitting for 10 minutes with empty drinks - and every other table around us was being served (by different people) during that time. I eventually flagged someone down and managed to order drinks. To their credit they comped us a couple of beers. Tried to catch our waiter to order dessert (churros) but he kind of mumbled something as he passed by - not clear at all if the order went in (apparently it did). Churros themselves were tasty but very doughy, and needed another couple of minutes in the frialator to get the right texture. Overall it was a very frustrating experience.
Finally - what's with the SINGLE TORTILLA per taco? Half of the tacos are falling apart by the time we got to eat them. I'd gladly pay the extra 5 cents per taco to have two tortillas. It makes no sense.
The service is unfixable without raising the price's astronomically. A great or even decent waitperson will always work at a restaurant with a higher price point. It does not take a genius to figure out that 18% of a $25 dollar entree is more then 18% of three $2.50 taco's. I am afraid we will have to suffer through this poor hurried service unless we want to start paying $10 per taco!
Maybe the problem is the La Verdad doesn't have to be "Ken Oringer good", it only has to be "better than the next-best Lansdowne Street alternative good", which is to say, not very good. I too am baffled by the disappearance of the second tortilla. I'm frankly disappointed that Oringer would allow himself to be associated with a place that's doing a less than stellar job of serving the most expensive tacos in town (from a self-styled taquería, anyway -- Bonfire doesn't count). It will be interesting to see if the quality and consistency here improves, and if they don't, whether Oringer continues to associate himself with the place.