2720 Main St, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040534.000473 -118.482197
Neighborhoods: West LA, Ocean Park
Look but don't touch; touch but don't taste – The only thing that can qualify Lula's as a mexican restaurant is that they serve margaritas. Serve this to a blind person and the food would qualify as "Californian" at best. This is the perfect place for people who don't enjoy "overly ethnic" food (which really means they don't enjoy ethnic food). However, the service is acceptable and the decor is a delight PLUS you and your date won't be "fragrant" by the end of the night. Also, the carnitas LOOK delicious and the food & drink are VISUALLY satisfying. All in all, if you are looking for a low key mexican-STYLE place to enjoy drinks with friends with the food as merely an afterthought, this can be your choice, provided that price does not bother you. Once last thing, $8 (yes, EIGHT) will get you a dollop of guacamole, $1.50 will get you the same in pico de gallo (they charge!) and the salsa is muy malo!
Taste of Mexico – I love going here after work to grab a cocktail and snacks or for lunch on a Saturday with friends. The decor is very festive and the service is friendly. Watch out for the strawberry-mango daiquiri, you can't taste the alcohol and you can't have just one! The portions are large and they have some of the best tortilla chips in town! Just be mindful of your meter because most of the parking is 2 hours max.
Great Local Mexican Restaurant – I am really surprised with the negative reviews for Lula. We live 1 block from Main St. and always end up here for dinner. To be honest, there were a couple of 'off-nights' where the food wasn't up to it's usual outstanding par, but for the remaining 30+ meals, it was awesome. And to clarify, 'off-night' doesn't mean bad; simply could be better in delivery of food during rush hour. Service is always friendly, and drinks are strong. Try their enchiladas suiza, mole tamales and mole chicken. I hope you give Lula's a try.
looks cool but tastes bad w/ a bad attitude – The place looked very cool, too bad the waitress was was miserable & the the food worse. Sis-in-law ordered jumbo shimp cocktail. Had 1 medium shrimp hanging off the side of a margarita glass with 2 more cut up in tomato juice inside the glass. Had to pay for pico de gallo salsa because the table salsa was D-. The only 2 people at the table that were happy were the 2 guys that ordered plain been & cheese buritos. What a shame & goodbye. last note. small glass, filled with ice & undrinkable sangria cost $6.50
Beware if booking private party – I booked a private party here in January for an April event. It was for 50 people. I confirmed with their manager and we were good to go. I sent out expensive printed invitations, etc. I called, not once but twice, to re-confirm and just double check all the details. Days after the second phone call I got an e-mail from the manager saying very rudely "Sorry but we've booked a wedding in the whole restaurant and we can't host your event." Basically they stood to make more money on the wedding, so they shafted us. So unprofessional, unethical and rude. They have lost my business for life, among many others.
Hate to say it but... – I went last night with a few girlfriends for a holiday dinner. We should've known something was up when we walk in during the middle of the dinner rush, 7:30 pm, and there were about 7 diners in the whole place. The decor is very charming and the staff is friendly, but don't let the ambience fool you. We ordered the tostada with shrimp, lobster tacos and chicken tacos - each about $14. The taste of all 3 dishes was interesting, because although they were all incredibly bland, they were still somehow spicy - it just burned our mouths without any discernible flavor. I had to pour the house salsa AND ask for a lime to squeeze all over the shrimp tostada in order to get an actual flavor out of the dish. If you want crappy, flavorless, overpriced food, this is the place to go.
Lively regional Mexican cuisine takes Main Street beyond tacos and burritos. – In Short
Vibrant folk art and bold contemporary paintings decorate the back patio, bar area and spacious dining room. This colorful spot serves many basics like burritos and tacos, but it further allures with more adventurous fare. Antojitos platters feature regional appetizers, both familiar and exotic. Guacamole, jalapenos and quesadillas appease picky palates, but there's also fried cheese-filled orange squash blossoms and corn-potato fritters. Churros--fried batter coated in cinnamon sugar--are dessert.
Solid Cal-Mexican and good tequila drinks – The food varies from pretty solid to actively interesting (such as the avocado laden burrito). I like that the menu tries to feature specialties from different regions of Mexico, but I can't help feeling that no matter where the dish originated, it has been heavily flavored by the US here at Lula's. Still, it's a decent place with reasonable prices and truly delicious drinks.
Good mexican food – The mexican food here is solid and the atmosphere is fun. Good place to go on Main Street. The combo plates are especially delicious.
Pleasantly cozy – We were early on the lunch rush, and the tables were nearly filled by the time we were done. Our servers seemed genuinely nice, as all the guys were just relaxed and good-natured. Chips and green salsa were the starters, with good, fresh crunch to the chips. We both love enchiladas, so I went for the Chicken mole while my friend went for the Chicken suiza. Next time we'll have to try the lobster or duck enchiladas, or one of their other specialties. Our entrees consisted of two small enchiladas (I don't mean "small" in a bad way) with sides of black beans & mexican rice, and a dollop of guacamole. The chicken was moist & flavorful, without all the nasty fatty parts and unpalatable cartilage that many places leave in. The beans and rice had good flavor & were moist too (not wet), unlike many other places that have rice as dry as sand. My mole was a little sweet for my taste, but all in all, nice, as was the suiza. Neither of the dishes were especially spectacular, as one could easily make plates as good as or better than that which we were served. I think the draw to Lula is that the place has a family-like, warm feel to it, and the food is just as mama would make. Nothing fancy. The prices followed suit, not being especially high (I think our dishes were about $8/9), and the menu is unpretentious. I'm sure the vibe is totall different on a busy weekend evening, but our Labor Day lunch was very relaxed, we were well-cared for & attended to, we enjoyed our meal, and we weren't immediately elbow-to-elbow with other patrons...yet. We could see it was going to get hairy soon into the lunch hours. Having grown up in southern CA where inexpensive mexican food is available at friends' homes & at a bunch of local hideouts, I always have a problem with paying big $$ for such. Lula's environment today made it pleasant enough to be worth the $, if for no other reason than to be dining in such a relaxed and warm atmosphere.
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