You Can't Pronounce Mesa Without Saying “Meh.”

Mesa
118 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite A
Oak Cliff

Food: 2.5 Tacos out of 4
Service: 3 Tacos out of 4
Ambiance: 4 Tacos out of 4

Large birthday dinners at restaurants always disappoint when it comes to service and food — but Mesa in Oak Cliff overcame the usual disappointments. At least in the service department.

Not so much with the food. The food at Mesa, situated in Oak Cliff near the Texas Theatre, is fairly bland. As should be expected, really. That's just Vera Cruz-style cuisine.

We started off by ordering the sampler platter. The proportions were perfect for a table of four — but not for our table of eight, as our server had promised. It was a decent enough start, and it included portions of all their appetizers — two enfrijoladas, two platanos rellenos, two picadas and one empanada — for $13.50. Not too bad, based on the number of items you receive. The $16.95 braised oxtail with hoja santa sauce and mesa dumplings was better. The meat of an oxtail is always very tender, and Mesa cooked the tail to perfection. The sauce accompanying it added some flavor, as well.

Where Mesa really scores, though, is in its ambiance and service. The tasteful decor and lighting of the space was more than inviting. And, after dinner, the executive chef visited our table with a big smile. You always feel at home in a restaurant when the chef makes sure to check on his tables. That counts for a lot.

In this case, it added to the overall value. The meal was less than exciting, but Mesa will have us coming back for their special treatment of their customers.

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