La Margarita1043 Virginia Ave. Ste 1A Indianapolis, IN46203 We went to La Margarita, located in Fountain Square, for a friend’s birthday. The smell of chips greeted as we walked in. There is a fairly large bar with seating against the back wall, and a combination of booths and tabletops in the main dining room. They also have a patio that offers outside seating. We were impressed to learn that they offer over 150 different types of tequila and every week they have a $15 tequila flight. Appetizers
It’s not a Mexican restaurant unless they provide complimentary, bottomless Chips and Salsa. Of the three salsas, two were pretty good and one was terrible. The all red salsa (left) had a great combination of tomatoes and spice. The green salsa (bottom right) was fresh, tangy and spicy, although not as spicy as the red salsa. That leaves us with the the clumpy salsa (top right). I think I used the word ‘shoe’ to describe the flavor when we first tried it. Yes, it was that bad. Their chips are thin and crispy, and as with most Mexican places, you end up eating way too many.
Recommendation: We can’t complain about free chips and salsa, but we wouldn’t have been happy had we paid for that third salsa.
Recommendation: It will probably satisfy your craving, but it’s really nothing special.
We also ordered the Queso Fondido w/ Chorizo ($5.95 +$1 for chorizo). They mix a few onions and poblano peppers in the cheese, top it with chorizo and garnish with some scallions. Sean preferred this queso to Delicia’s version, because it was salty and cheesy. He thought Delicia’s had way too much sauce. I like them both, but given the choice, I’d choose Delicia. Hey, we don’t always have to agree. They give you some tortillas, but it went best with their chips. The cheese was very stringy, so it was convenient that they provided a spoon.
Recommendation: The better of the two appetizers.
One of Sean’s all-time favorite meals is a dish called chilaquiles that we had at a hole in the wall in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. Even though he was aware that no American version would come close, he still ordered the Chilaquiles ($12.95). The dish consists of chips tossed with either salsa roja or spicy mole verde, cheese and baked chicken. It is then topped with sour cream and cilantro. It is served with Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole and tomatoes. As expected, this dish was no where close to the one we had in Vallerta, but it was sub-par even for an American version. The chips were soggy, there wasn’t enough cheese and the spicy mole verde was too spicy, which is saying something considering Sean’s ridiculously high spice tolerance. When the spice no longer provides flavor and just burns your mouth, it’s too much. The refried beans had a strange consistency and overall they were flavorless.
Recommendation: This dish was a total letdown, even after we adjusted our expectations.
After reading a lot of reviews praising the Burrito Azteca ($13.95), I decided I would give it a try. It’s a giant burrito stuffed with half habanero chicken and half carnitas, and topped with sour cream, cheese and guacamole. The habanero chicken, like Sean’s dish, had bites that were extremely spicy and others that were edible. The carnitas side of the burrito was actually worse than the habanero chicken side. While we do appreciate seasoning, to say this dish was over salted is an understatement. I have had grains of salt that tasted less salty than this dish. It didn’t make sense that one half was incredibly spicy and the other side had no spice, but an overwhelming amount of salt.
Recommendation: The Yelpers really let me down on this one.
I started with one of their margaritas—Our House ($8)—1800 silver, simple syrup, fresh lime and orange. This drink was really, really tart. A friend got the “it’s juicy” margarita and it was much better.
Recommendation: You’d think they would have perfected this Mexican staple, but you’d be wrong.
After not finishing my first drink, I ordered the It’s Juicy ($8)—milagro silver, fresh lime, pomegranate juice with a splash of soda. This margarita was far better than their house version. It balanced the tartness of the lime with the pomegranate juice and went down much more easily.
They were running a special that night on some bourbons, so Sean had a Bulleit for only $4. Although this was the simplest drink, it took about 15 minutes to make its way to the table.Overall
This is the kind of place you come to have a basket of chips while waiting for your table elsewhere. We can kind of understand why it attracts a crowd—the prices for a drink and an app are reasonable and it’s in a trendy location. However, most of the food was lackluster or inedible for one reason or another and it’s definitely not the place to go if you want to get as close to authentic Mexican as possible. The appetizers were by far the best part of the meal. Our server wasn’t too friendly and was visibly annoyed when people at the table ordered certain items. It also took far too long for our drinks to arrive at the table. If we were to come back here (which is doubtful), it would be for a happy hour drink special or an appetizer. It’s definitely not fit for foodies and the worst part is that they don’t serve dessert.
Location: Downtown (Fountain Square)
Dress Code: Casual