86 Orchard St, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.717969 -73.990200
Neighborhoods: Lower East Side, Downtown
Not bad – The service is not so good but the food is not bad. Prices are fine for the hood.
Won't be going back – If I could give 0 stars I would! There were 6 of us who came here for a birthday dinner. To start our experience, the hostess told us it would be a few minutes and to head downstairs to the lounge where she would call us when our table was ready. The lounge area was empty, and the bartenders could not make a margarita with a specified tequila - they could only serve the pre-made margaritas from upstairs. Fine. Seems weird that a full bar couldn't make that, but whatever. I ordered a glass of wine instead. They had lost their wine opener so it took about 10 minutes to get my glass of wine, and by the time I got it, it was time to go upstairs to our table. We all carried our drinks upstairs and started to head into the restaurant, only to be told quite rudely by the bouncer that we could not bring our drinks into the restaurant. This makes absolutely no sense if the lounge is part of the restaurant - so much so that they can't even make their own margarita! It definitely seems like a scam to get you to buy more drinks. And no apologies or explanations were offered when questioned.
Once in the restaurant, we still had to wait 5 minutes for our table. They tried to squeeze all 6 of us into a booth meant for 4, which I complained about. They then moved us to a bar table in the middle of the restaurant, where we had slightly more room but had to sit on bar stools with no backs. Not very comfortable and we were constantly pushed and bumped by the wait staff and other customers going to their tables.
The waitress was friendly and did take our drink order right away. And explained the menu once we asked. That was about all we saw of her though.
The classic margarita with salt was all sour mix. The only good part about it was the salt, which was a mix of salt and some sort of chili spice rub.
We ordered a variety of food around the table. The chorizo with queso was fantastic, however you have to pay an additional $2 for chips. The guacamole definitely came from a jar - not authentic at all.
A few minutes after they brought our appetizers, they brought several entrees - my shrimp tacos, the birthday girl's meal, and a few others plus one entree that no one had ordered. It turned out that they served us another table's order, and then proceeded to take them back and deliver them to the right table. Luckily none of us had touched the plates or food - but the bus boys/waitress didn't know that. It's definitely unsanitary (which offers some insight into their B rating!)
The shrimp tacos were just ok - it was definitely frozen shrimp that were a little mushy. Everyone else seemed pretty lackluster about their entrees as well.
The wait staff did not come back to check on us or to see if we needed drink refills. We also had to ask at least 3 times for more water.
Finally, we ordered dessert for the birthday girl - fried plantains. They were delicious, but don't expect any fanfare. They didn't even put a candle in it or, at the very least, say happy birthday.
Overall, the food and drinks are not great, the service leaves a lot to be desired, there are some questionable sanitary concerns, the ambiance is cluttered and the seating is uncomfortable. I will never be back, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If you find yourself there anyway, order the chorizo with queso and fried plantains and call it a day.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Surely hoping to sponge up some runoff from its constantly-mobbed neighbor, Barrio Chino (two hour waits for a table on weekends, yikes), Casa Mezcal is the latest New York City venue to embrace smoky mezcal--a close cousin of tequila--as its spiritual mascot. Some 60 varieties of the stuff (try the Del Maguey or Los Amantes) line a decorative wall unit also teeming with curios such as earthen sculptures, an accordion and an enormous stuffed gobbler--it's like a south-of-the-border hunting lodge, somehow both staid and spirited. Mexican beer and wine are available at the long bar or in the handful of booths, as are specialty cocktails like the Orchartini, which mixes horchata, lime, hibiscus and Fidencio mezcal to nice effect.
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