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We've avoided this establishment since their move to San Antonio Tlayacapan (Across from Superlake plaza) a few years ago.  Avoided, simply because of the totally overbearing owner who was far less than honest or caring about his food and beverage presentation. (When you order a bottle of Italian Chianti and then catch the owner surreptitiously pouring cheap Mexican jug wine (F. Chauvenet Tinto)  into a previously used Chianti bottle you become forever warned!

However, this past Thursday night my wife and I had made a reservation for 6:45 at La Paceña (one of only 4 local restaurants that we've visited since the Covid crisis changed our lives) a neighbouring restaurant to "LA TAVERNA dei quattro mori's" current location, we found ourselves in a situation where, as a result and as an alternative to simply going home, we decided to give "LA TAVERNA dei quattro mori" a try.  Good friends had recently told us that there had been an ownership change and that the food and service was "excellent". 

We arrived at La Paceña, were greeted and promptly seated in the garden as requested.  On arrival there were only 6 other diners present.  We asked for the beverage menu as on our several previous visits they introduced a special beverage menu with a great and interesting variety of exceptional cocktails.  However, we were informed that the person responsible for their special cocktail offerings was no longer employed.  As a result they only had beer and wine available.  We each ordered a glass of wine.  We asked our waiter if they still offered a table side preparation of their house specialty salsa (a charred vegetable and peppers selection).  He confirmed that they did.  We asked a few questions about the day's fish offerings and said that we'd wait for the salsa and peruse the menu before ordering our meals.  A basket of tortilla chips arrived and a small selection of their usual salsas.  Quite a bit of time went by...perhaps 15 to 20 minutes and no sign of the special side prepared salsa.  We flagged down our waiter and he said that he would check for us.  He returned to tell us that they couldn't make the special salsa as they were out of the ingredients.  We weren't terribly thrilled and since we'd had such a recent and great recommendation from 'knowledgeable and trusted" friends about "LA TAVERNA dei quattro mori" we decided to give it a try.  We asked our waiter for our check.  A few minutes later another waiter or perhaps "manager" approached our table.  We know he definitely wasn't the owner (as our experience that evening would never have occurred if the owner had been present!!!  That's a known fact that would be supported by all of our friends who have been frequent patrons.) The waiter/manager said that they were not able to make the special salsa because they didn't have the necessary "hot green peppers".  I responded by saying that when you have a large supermarket situated right across the street and you have far more staff present than customers, that's a pretty "lame" excuse.  He then offered to have someone go and get the peppers.  (Duh!)  We left a 35% gratuity and after apologizing to our "victimized" waiter.....left....and likely won't return.  Indifference and laziness has no place in the restaurant industry....particularly in today's environment!

On arrival a few minutes later, after a 20 metre walk, to "La TA TAVERNA dei quattro mori" we were welcomed by the new owner and immediately surprised to find that he's a man who we know well and have, for quite a number of years.  A very successful businessman who, as a result of the Covid epidemic has been forced to temporarily suspend his long established business based in Mexico City.  He's a longterm resident of the Ajijic/Lakeside area.  My wife and I personally personally know that his decision to take on "LA TAVERNA dei quattro mori" would not have occurred without much careful consideration.

So.....here's our overview of our first meal in a very long time at "LA TAVERNA dei quattro mori".  Great Italian menu offering authentic recipes.  Great service.  Immaculate restaurant.  Outside seating is available. Immaculate and totally well equipped kitchen.  Great wine menu with great offerings at sensible "market worthy" prices.  Each of our two different main courses were as good or better than any prior "Italian offerings" in the Lakeside communities....except in our own home!  Our meal ended with a complimentary serving of a very well done "in house"  produced "Licor Limoncello".  All that said....we'll return and......so will many of our friends who will be "PM'd" on this posting.  Doing whatever is necessary to build clientele and survive in today's environment is commendable,  respected.....and will be remembered long into the future!

 

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That is great to hear about the favorable change of ownership, treatment of customers, and quality of the menu at La Taverna !  After hearing "horror stories" of the previous owner from his wait staff while they were located in West Ajijic, I refused to go to the new location in SAT.   One example was how he  forced his employees to turn over their tips to him and in return he used it to pay their salaries.

However, my question  regarding  your experience at La Pacena is: if your treatment there was so shabby, then why were you so gracious enough to leave such a generous tip?  In my opinion, that just gives the wrong signal to them.  Even in the US, if one is treated shabbily, then I tip accordingly.

The La Taverna change is good news since it seems our good dining choices lakeside are more limited, especially when Covid might unfortunately drive more of them out of business.   

 

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When it is obvious the waiter is doing his best and the fault lies with the owner, seems the decent thing to do not to penalize said waiter.  There employees are in a world of hurt these days.

 

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I have always had good luck with La Paceña and judging from the large (but spaced) crowds normally there, so have many others. Do not quite understand the OP's beef...this is a fish joint not some fancy Parisian restaurant!!! Love the fish and chips!!!

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My first part-time job in HS was waiting tables.  I won't stiff a wait person.  99% of the time, delays are the result of management or the kitchen. 

I think the OP did exactly the right thing, got the bill after several attempts to get food, leaving a large gratuity for the server who was not at fault. 

Inconsistency remains the biggest problem with local restaurants, often due to the owner not being on-site.  

 

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6 minutes ago, Upfront said:

a gratuity is suppposed to reflect on the whole operation. tip them sure but a standard tip. no point in teaching anyone that this is all fine. teach instead to discuss with management the loss of income due to someone elses poor capability

NO NO NO.  

In this tight job market, you really think your recommended teaching lesson will come to fruition??  That a waitperson is going to tell their BOSS that he/she doesn't know how to operate a restaurant???  

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2 hours ago, mexijims1 said:

That is great to hear about the favorable change of ownership, treatment of customers, and quality of the menu at La Taverna !  After hearing "horror stories" of the previous owner from his wait staff while they were located in West Ajijic, I refused to go to the new location in SAT.   One example was how he  forced his employees to turn over their tips to him and in return he used it to pay their salaries.

However, my question  regarding  your experience at La Pacena is: if your treatment there was so shabby, then why were you so gracious enough to leave such a generous tip?  In my opinion, that just gives the wrong signal to them.  Even in the US, if one is treated shabbily, then I tip accordingly.

The La Taverna change is good news since it seems our good dining choices lakeside are more limited, especially when Covid might unfortunately drive more of them out of business.   

 

We actually felt very sorry for the waiter.  He appeared to be very embarrassed and didn't appear to agree with what we encountered.  When we left the restaurant there were only two other diners.  Our tip was only 50 pesos for two glasses of wine totalling $150.00 pre-tip.  Our waiter did nothing wrong.....except perhaps not following up more promptly on our expected salsa. We left because it simply became evident that the only staff member on hand with any degree of authority was totally incompetent and not capable of carrying forward the restaurant's normal standards.

Not sure how gringohombre finds his silly reference to (fancy Parisian restaurant!!!) in any way relevant.  Never before, in our prior experiences would we ever have referred to La Paceña as a "fish joint".  It has always been excellent in every category.  

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53 minutes ago, Carnivore said:

We actually felt very sorry for the waiter.  He appeared to be very embarrassed and didn't appear to agree with what we encountered.  When we left the restaurant there were only two other diners.  Our tip was only 50 pesos for two glasses of wine totalling $150.00 pre-tip.  Our waiter did nothing wrong.....except perhaps not following up more promptly on our expected salsa. We left because it simply became evident that the only staff member on hand with any degree of authority was totally incompetent and not capable of carrying forward the restaurant's normal standards.

Not sure how gringohombre finds his silly reference to (fancy Parisian restaurant!!!) in any way relevant.  Never before, in our prior experiences would we ever have referred to La Paceña as a "fish joint".  It has always been excellent in every category.  

Maybe it was a little tongue in cheek however I was in particular referencing "We asked our waiter if they still offered a table side preparation of their house specialty salsa (a charred vegetable and peppers selection)". Maybe La Paceña is a little more upscale than the original Letty's that was down the street years ago before the move to their current location, but not much. Also in a restaurant like this I would not expect "a special beverage menu with a great and interesting variety of exceptional cocktails". I am sure, like you said that they had these in the past but, in my mind at least, not a reason to walk away. Just my opinion. I would just chalk it up to some miscommunication. 

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2 hours ago, Upfront said:

you have no idea what you are talkinga bout. the quality and concept of trhe food in this place has risen quite a bit over the last ocuple of years.  A FISH JOINT indeed

Cannot you read plain English...did I not say "I have always had good luck with La Paceña and judging from the large (but spaced) crowds normally there, so have many others" ??? And "Love the fish and chips!!!"  Pleeeze!!! Nothing wrong with a good FISH JOINT!!!

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7 hours ago, Upfront said:

he is talkinga bout YOU wingnut

Speak for yourself...and your spelling, grammar and lack of punctuation skills show the level of YOUR  intelligence!!! Oh...and maybe I should add content on top of all of that!!!

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1 hour ago, Upfront said:

Okay, let me retype that.

He's talking about you, wingnut. Now, stick to the topic and stop farting on every thread. I know it will be difficult, because you have no idea about that which you speak. You have destroyed another thread with your incompetence and narcissism.

Happy now with my spelling, grammar, and punctuation????????????????????????????

La Paceña generally deserves a much higher rating than your flippant and insulting "fish joint" comment. You do "not understand the OP's beef"? Well, let's point out you were not the subject or the object of the story. So let the OP have his say, and if you want to comment, make it something useful.

As always...If you want to be a Mod, send your resume to the Admin.

 

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