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Anything decent at Lauriol Plaza?

Against my better judgment I have accepted an invitation to dinner at Lauriol Plaza, about which I have only heard bad things. Is there any hope of getting a decent -- or, dare to dream, good -- meal here?

Thanks 'hounds!

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  1. Only good meal to be had there is to order the Sunshine Salad and a pitcher of Margaritas on a really hot sunny day. Oh and make sure to have a friend help with the pitcher.

    1 Reply
    1. re: botnot

      That's what I was going to say! I hate to admit that I love that salad.

    2. There is a cuban pork dish that I can't recall the name of which is very good, also they have a steak dish that is good, it is like a peruvian steak dish, avoid the mexican items.

      1. The food at Lauriol is perfectly fine. I don't know where you are only hearing bad things - its consistently voted one of the best restaurants in DC. It may not be a chowhound type place, but it's better than the chain mexican restaurants. The worst part is the service - always horrible.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wysguymd

          The wait used to be worst part for me-- the food was fine, but not worth the wait.

          1. re: Doh

            That's why when there is a wait and I usually just end up across the street at the much more delicious Regent Thai. But I have friends that love Lauriol so I've seeked out some good items.

          2. re: wysguymd

            "I don't know where you are only hearing bad things"

            Tyler Cowen's blog, yelp, lots of bad reviews here.

            But I'd be happy to learn otherwise!

            1. re: wysguymd

              I think Lauriol has an undeserved "bad" reputation. It has perfectly good food, and wonderful salads. They have so many different kinds; it think it's one of the better restaurants to get salads at. Their peruvian food is also very good. I haven't had bad service here. It's a great place to meet friends, and their salsa is so yummy (and chips)--and they're free!

            2. You know, Lauriol Plaza is fine!! It's a perfect place to meet up with friends and have some good margaritas. You don't go for the cuisine, you go for the scene, maybe a happy hour, and a fun and casual dinner. Never understood why there were so many haters!! I mean, do people really go to LP and expect stellar food???
              I've had the enchiladas there and they were pretty good. And yes, much better than any chain you're going to find.

              1. The best thing at Lauriol has always been the eye candy in the spring. I'm only half kidding. Go for the drinks and don't expect more than decent Mexican food for gringo palates. It's Rosa Mexicana with a better location.

                1. Well first off---drink a lot of Margaritas and you won't notice anything else. :)

                  Lauriol Plaza is hard for me because I don't love Mexicanfood. But I've actually had 2 pretty good dishes at Lauriol in the past. The Pollo Asado is pretty good, as is a salmon dish with some sort of mango salsa.

                  Also you can always play it safe with a faijita (can't really mess that up.).

                  1. They still have excellent mussels as an appetizer or entree. Years ago I loved LP for their seafood and peruvian specials ... Ever since they moved not so much. I think they are now so sucessful they don't habe to be excellent anymore. .

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: keithdcil

                      Stick with the quasi-Cuban dishes and you'll be fine. The masitas, carne asado, maduros, tostones and frijoles negros are all decent. Go early before the crowd and noise level become unendurable.

                    2. I live around the corner and very very frequently end up there with friends. I very rarely wait more than 10 minutes - I guess we have good timing.

                      I always get the santa fe plater. Best food? No, but it's horrible for you, fatty, and very tasty. I can get in and out of the place for under $15 with tax/tip.

                      It's a good place if you're near by, there's no wait, and want cheap.

                      Regent Thai is great, but you can't get out of there very cheaply...

                      1. Thanks for the tips everyone! I had Mariscos a la Catalana and it was actually pretty good... the shrimp & scallops could have been fresher but the tomato & garlic sauce was nice.

                        1. It won't be a transcendent Latin cuisine experience, but it's just as "good" as Oyamel or Rosa Mexicano.