Archive for August, 2009

Rosa Mexicana: Revisited

After the last time I visited Rosa Mexicana, I was convinced that it would be the last time. No more. I can’t really put my finger on what was the nail in the coffin; maybe it was the poor service, maybe it was the realization that the flavors weren’t really all that exceptional, or maybe it was the discovery that Rosa is actually a chain. Whatever the reason, all of them combined just pushed me too far. Given the few drops of Irish blood in my veins, I can be pretty stubborn, and I was certain that this ban would be life-long.

My resolve first started to wear away on my birthday when, after an excellent dinner at PS 7’s, I was craving a margarita and headed to Rosa. I told myself I wasn’t cheating on my promise never to visit the place, considering I wasn’t actually eating anything and was just sitting in the bar having some drinks. I told myself I could still tell everyone I never ate there, and that they shouldn’t either.

Then, today, my resolve crumbled.

It wasn’t so much of a life-shaking, life-altering event. I was at work on a Saturday, checking up on some things after being absent for three full days, and Jay and I were having a little issue deciding where to eat. Most of the places we wanted to have lunch either (a) weren’t open or (b) were only serving brunch. Just as I was deciding to have a nice turkey sandwich at home, Jay suggested Rosa. Of course, I had my misgivings, I had sworn never to eat there again. But it was lunch, not dinner, and you don’t have to be as pretentious at lunch as you do dinner, right? I mean, I still had standards, this wouldn’t shatter them. Right?

Turns out, Rosa is much better than I remembered. Of course, the wait was much slower than normal (none at 1pm), the dining area as a whole was much less crowded, and the expectations were a lot lower. Nevertheless, we had a very gracious and attentive waiter. Drinks did not take very long, and he even made sure I would like the mole sauce surrounding my salmon by bringing me out a taste. When our food was taking a while to get to us, he assured us that it was just taking a while to get the fish ready. Just that extra little step, just those few words, made a huge difference. Our dishes were very good as well. My salmon could have used a little more salt (and a few more minutes on the grill), but the mole sauce was fruity, hearty, and spicy, and the portion size of the salmon was not too imense. Jay’s chicken sandwich (he ordered steak but was pleased with what he got) was absolutely delicious. The sweet potato fries were a little bland, but a pinch of pepper fixed them right up.

The meal was not perfect: the spicy guacamole, while filled with good bits of onions, tomatoes, and other things, was not really all that spicy and was actually a little bland. It needed something, like salt, and after a while I just got tired of it. My salmon was definitely undercooked, and although I personally don’t have a problem with this, I’m sure someone else would have sent it back. My salmon needed seasoning, Jay’s fries needed seasoning, the guacamole needed seasoning. And Jay didn’t get what he ordered. 

Nevertheless, this imperfect yet pretty decent lunch has changed my mind about Rosa. I couldn’t help think that the service was so much better, there must have been some sort of change or training overall. The food was decent, and definitely a good and filling lunch. All in all, I think I will be back, maybe even for dinner, but I will be sure to retain lower expectations than I used to so as not to be disappointed.


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