I went to dinner at Ciudad last night and I must say, this place was average at best. The prices that they charge for their tapas were ridiculous for the amount and quality of food.
Spicy Limas- The lima beans were ok..a little bit mushy. It was mixed with sliced serrano ham. The only good thing about this dish was the spicyness. Otherwise, I could have completely made this dish at home with a bag of frozen lima beans and some serrano ham.
Paella- Could this even be considered paella? It was more like a risotto with seafood. Again, food was mushy and the flavors indistinctive. The seafood was fresh though.
Lambchops- This came with some sort of green sauce and some polenta. This was probably the best dish of the bunch. The lambchops were tender and juicy. This dish was passable but not great. Again, I felt like I could have made this at home. The dish did come with some sort of small red chili pepper that was filled with cream cheese. This was delish. The pepper was sweet yet tangy and spicy. It went with the cream cheese very well. Sad that that was the best part about the dish.
Grilled eggplant- Ummm..this was bad...just mushy eggplant with something on the inside. I have no idea was it was. Dont order this dish.
Sauted Shrimp- This was OK. The shrimps were fresh and plump. It came in this butter garlic sauce that wasn.t too bad. I knew that there were massive amounts of butter beacuase the sauce solidified after awhile. Yuk. The dish also came with a cube of garlic bread, placed on top of the butter garlic sauce. The dish was then covered with red onions. This was a passable dish.
I don't think I would ever go back. The bill came out a little under $100. Definitely not worth the price I paid.
Their tapas/happy hour isn't all that great. The only reason my coworkers and I go there is because of the alcoholic drinks. The BEST mojito I've ever had and their sangrias are pretty good too. Otherwise, service is non-existent at best, especially if you get a certain waiter that's been there for years.
Having said that, I really enjoy having lunch there. I'm a vegetarian and really like their chile relleno burrito. Their goat cheese flan is pretty good too.
Dinner, however, is another story. The menu changes from lunch to dinner and everytime I've tried it in the past few years, it's been a miss. I was just there about a month ago for dinner and did not enjoy it. Lunch a few days ago, however, was wonderful.
A long time ago I think I did like Border Grill and Ciudad(when I was in college and got hungry at around 4:25pm). Now I avoid them like the plague. Both are like Baja Fresh with a wine list.
I'm also surprised that Border Grill & Ciudad consistently get high marks as "must-attend" places in virtually every tour guide book out there. I've been twice - once as a new tourist, and again as a native, and both times, I found the plates (and I sampled not only mine, but multiple others of friends and parents) quite generic, with virtually no ethnic flair. They definitely weren't bad, but they were completely non-memorable for me - I can't even remember what I ate or tried there. Also, while not pricey in general, it's definitely pricey for what it is, in my opinion. I was really hoping for more originality in such an acclaimed establishment, unfortunately.
I guess the decor is nice, though - looks like it caters to a younger upscale crowd.
There is a place in Hermosa beach that has an extensive Tapas menu. We have been a few times and never disappointed.
73 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254