La Barca reviews

The Dear Editor:I am far from a certified reviewer of restaurants. My wife and I went to have lunch at the new La Barca Grill and Cantina. My first impression was negative because of all the noise. It sounded worse than my high school cafeteria. With the current industrial inventions, many different types of noise suppressing and noise cancellation material is available to rectify this problem. On top of that, the noise generated on Friday nights through Sunday would be unbearable for me because of the added mariachi band music. I can't imagine the band toning it down for my pleasure. I doubt I would ever go there on the weekends. Ear plugs would be a necessity for me if I did. The next thing I noticed is a restroom privacy matter. I am of the old school that seeks to keep young children and women from viewing men standing at a urinal while passing by the men's room on the way to the woman's room. Women that do not wish to be exposed to this should not be forced to view such things. From where we sat, we could see six TV screens showing three different channels. Some of them had the captions turned on and some didn't. This is quite a distraction to me. My observation was that nobody was looking at them even though some had sports on them. I don't even know what was in the cantina as this is off limits for me. The table positions are quite close to each other and servers are frequently passing your table to get to other tables, especially the closer you sit to the kitchen. The food, however, was very good. My wife and I always judge Mexican food using Marisa's as a base line. Their food is outstanding. I would rate La Barca's food lower than Marisa's and Veracruz, but a notch better than Acapulco. If they would address the first two issues, we might visit weeknights in the future. The menu is a bit high overall. This, of course, is just my opinion. Just like belly buttons, everybody has one. -- Larry Drake, Downey

Dear Editor: My wife and I went to La Barca restaurant for dinner tonight and thought you and your readers might be interested in our experience. We arrived at 6:20 p.m. and were seated at 7 in the main dining room hoping to have a nice dinner with general conversation. The first thing we noticed after being seated was the din, it was so noisy it was almost impossible to hold a conversation. The waiters then proceeded to set up a table for eight persons only eight inches from our table forming a "T" between our table and theirs. When this party came to be seated one of the men and one woman literally bent over and stuck their rear onto our table in order to access their chair. If this wasn't enough, then the band began to play which completely eliminated any possibility of conversation. I will admit the band was good and the food was adequate but will think very seriously before going back for dinner. -- James Richards, Downey

********** Published: March 01, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 46