There are so many Mexican restaurants in this town that, when I write about them, I go for mass quantity and group them up in a few quick reviews like here, and here. But every now and then, one Mexican eatery stands out as a solitary beacon of either greatness or super-not greatness (God, I’m a scintillating writer). La Terraza, to my great chagrin, finds itself in the latter group. From service to atmosphere to food, this place fails spectacularly.
La Terraza (literally translated as “the terrorist” which seems like a pretty poor name for a restaurant) sits high above the tourist choked streets of Old Sacramento on the corner of 2nd and K streets. While this is not a bad place for a restaurant, I wouldn’t consider it a great place for a restaurant either. To me, Old Sac is best known for its parking difficulty (recently made more difficult by new meters and longer enforcement periods(good job Old Sac, way to drum up business)) and the suprisingly large amount of mass arrests that take place there during weekend evenings. So, from a local’s point of view, you have to be offering something pretty special to get me to head across 3rd street (Did someone say banjo jam?). Whatever a restaurant could offer to get me to broach the Old Sac/New Sac border, La Terraza doesn’t.
The food at La Terraza was rather bland, bordering on poor. The chips were either way too thick or a little stale. The salsa kept staining my pants, which I now realize may have been my own fault for repeatedly spilling it on my pants. The beans were close to inedible, the rice was ok, the fajitas were greasy and not too flavorful, and the tacos were just kind of “eh.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Wait until you hear about the bathrooms.
Oh, you want to hear about the bathrooms? Great. First let’s clarify. They only had one working restroom, so actually calling their accommodations “bathrooms” may have been a little generous on my part. The one working restroom was something hovering between a Tijuana jail cell and a CIA interrogation chamber. It was just one large room with two toilets sticking out of the wall, only one with a seat, no partition between the two toilets and the tp and seat covers just resting on a chair next to one of the crappers. It was creepy.
Lastly, the service was pretty poor. We had to ask the waiter to come over and take our orders for beers, then we had to ask him to take our order for food, during which he walked off before he got everyone’s order, and then we had to have him change a lightbulb over our table so that we could actually see. My chair broke while I was eating, which made me feel fat and unwelcome at their establishment. Really, the whole place just had an air of misuse, the kind of air that made you wonder how often everyone working there washes their hands.
So, while they may serve great terrorist grub, La Terraza did not do it for me on my latest visit. If you find yourself in Old Sac and have the hankering for Mexican food, just leave Old Sac since there was no reason for you to be there in the first place.
La Terraza-2nd & K streets, Old Sacramento
Food* Service* Atmosphere*