42010 Village Center Plz,Ste 170 Stone Ridge, 20105
I had high hopes for this place... especially with it being so close to home. I had never noticed it before I saw it advertised on Groupon. The deal on Groupon was for an appetizer, two entrees, and a desert for $20... truly a great deal. Most of the reviews seemed positive as well... so I was excited to finally have an opportunity to go. Unfortunately, my experience sucked. Our waitress was very pleasant: she took our drink order shortly after we were seated, and once she returned we ordered our appetizer (along with our drinks came chips and salsa -- the salsa was very delicious) -- the guacamole. The menu said the guacamole was made table-side, which would make you think, logically, that the ingredients would come out relatively quickly. No. Twenty-five minutes and several apologies later it finally showed up -- a bowl of ingredients which the waitress mixed together. Each time we had asked what the hold-up was we were told she was waiting for the kitchen to put the ingredients together; they were backed up (the restaurant didn't seem too busy -- there were several empty tables) -- this reasoning baffled us. Shouldn't something that gets made at your table be easy to pull together in the kitchen? Then the wait began for our entrees. It was just about 70 minutes (!) from the time we first sat down until the time the entrees arrived on the table. The waitress apologized several times in-between (again, she was very pleasant); we also asked to speak to the manager at one point (he too was very pleasant and apologetic -- but at this point it was kind of pointless; my impression of the restaurant was so negative I really could only think of walking out). The entrees, once they finally arrived looked, smelled, and tasted delicious. But, because of the overall experience I simply could not enjoy the food. The manager offered to comp the entire meal and asked that we give them another chance by returning to use the Groupon another time. I'm not sure if that is going to happen or not... I'll need to get in a charitable and forgiving mood for that to happen... What made the whole experience worse: there was a family of four who sat down about thirty minutes after us at the table adjacent to ours; they were done with their appetizers, entrees, and dessert -- then paid the check -- before we even got our dessert! Very frustrating. Restaurants misplace orders, get busy, have an off night... etc., etc. Perhaps this was just the "perfect storm" which effected our experience. The staff we dealt with were certainly nice, and the food did taste good... so who knows. If you go... good luck.
My husband and I visited T'KiLa last night for the first time for a dinner date and we were NOT disappointed. First the good stuff - the guacamole is a MUST. It's made very quickly at your table and I love that they showed us the ingredients in the mortar before mashing it up. It was DELICIOUS. I thought the flavor was spot on, although my husband prefers a little bit more of the lime to come through - I'm sure we could ask for more lime juice next time. The salsa that came with the chips was perfect - I love that it wasn't very chunky and had a fantastic spicy kick to it. My husband ordered the carne asada. The flavor was different than others we have tried and was VERY good, seasoned well with very authentic spices and served with equally well cooked vegebtables. I got the chicken mole, which came with black beans and a side of spanish rice, served over fried plantains. I'm personally not a huge cooked banana/plantain fan, so I didn't eat the plantains but the flavor of the mole was a great savory/sweet combo and the chicken portion was just right. The rice was a little bland but the beans were cooked well. My favorite part of the meal was the mojito - the best way to explain how good it was is that as soon as I took my first sip, I felt transported back to Miami and Puerto Rico! It was extremely authentic and SO delicious - I had two and kind of wanted a third, but at that point, I didn't want to look like a complete lush :) My husband got the mango lemonade, which was also very fresh and tasted amazing. It had little chunks of mango that I was fishing out at the end of the night! The service was also very good - we were checked on by our server and two of the managers throughout the night and they were very friendly and polite. Now for the bad and really, the only reasons why I took it down a star (I'd only take half a star off if I could since these really are minor in my eyes) - if you can even call it bad, as opposed to really just minor things they can easily fix. The decor is definitely lacking. This place used to a Japanese hibachi restaurant and the current ownership left the fixtures in place, so you can definitely see the "Asian influence." The area by the bar is also completely empty; I imagine if they ever get to that point, that space would make a great dance floor but right now it just looks a little awkward and unfinished. The main dining room where the hibachi grills used to be is massive, now that it's just filled with four-tops and a few longer tables in the middle - they definitely have some opportunity for decor improvement and separation in the actual dining room (I watch a lot of Restaurant Impossible). The walls are also bare - there's two small TVs in the front half of the restaurant. They need to add a third to the last area to balance it out and if anything, order some newer, bigger ones to take up more of the expansive wall space. There's a handful of Mexican knickknacks when you first walk in, but there's a lot of decor potential. The menus are also pretty simple - I imagine it's just a simple Word document printed on heavy stock paper. They can do something as simple as add some color and laminate the paper to make it a bit more professional. The final "issue" is that the guac came out a little slow (I assume they prep to order though, to ensure freshness, so I didn't mind), we had to ask for our chips to dip the guacamole in, and the chips were a bit too salty. I know our server only has two hands to carry the heavy mortar with, and we were totally fine with that - we just expected that after he was done making the guac, that he would come right back with the chips and salsa and he didn't - I actually saw him at the server station at one of the POS systems. We asked one of the managers who checked up on us and then we got the chips a minute or two later. Perhaps he was just waiting for a fresh batch to come out, but he didn't tell us, so that added to our "umm...are we getting chips?" feeling. The salty chips didn't really bother me but my husband is a bit pickier so he mentioned it and made a face, until I told him to just shake or brush off the excess! Again...aside from some really minor aesthetics, this place is fantastic. So happy to have some authentic Latin/Mexican flavors in our little neighborhood and this is a great addition. We will definitely be back and hopefully T'KiLa drums up enough business to earn some money to put back into the decor and really develop it's own identity. Highly recommend!
I would recommend this restaurant. I tried it because of a Groupon, and am glad I did. My wife and I really enjoyed a number of things: The guacamole, made at your table- fresh and delicious. The banana empanadas for dessert- a unique and unexpected treat. Those were five stars, and the chicken enchiladas and vegetable fajitas were a solid four. The service- quick, friendly, and when I had an issue with my phone in redeeming the Groupon, they honored it anyway and asked me to mark it as used when I got home. I will definitely go here again.