Hubs and I went for an early pre-theatre dinner to Las Iguanas in Oxford this week. I have eaten at this restaurant a few times, but not in a couple of years.
We arrived at 6pm and were surprised to find the restaurant crowded. The apologetic waitress explained there were a bunch of kids from a trip, but that they should be gone fast because the meal was pre-ordered. We had a booking, so were seated immediately. Las Iguanas is one of those restaurants which seems to be designed to be as noisy, acoustically, as possible. The kids were quite loud, and there was thumping music which made it even worse. We certainly weren’t in for a quiet, relaxing, romantic meal. Just a note – the kids were there longer than we were.
Las Iguanas has an excellent happy hour menu. You can get two for one drinks (as long as they are the same drink) until 7.30pm, and you can get cheaper food from their lunch and early evening menu up until 6.30pm. I ordered a vegetarian enchilada: “Rolled tortilla smothered in our own smoked chilli & tomato sauce & cheese. With garlic & coriander rice & refried beans.” For my filling I chose “Roast butternut squash, iron-rich spinach, cheese & chickpeas”. Hubs ordered the chimichanga: “Crisp tortilla parcel, delivered with homemade salsa, guacamole, soured cream, garlic & coriander rice & refried beans” with the same filling. We split them in half and shared. We also had two Key West Coolers: “Vodka, peach schnapps, Midori & Malibu with orange & cranberry juices over ice.” I also ordered a side of guacamole, as my dinner didn’t come with it.
The enchilada and chimichangas are served on a large dish of black beans and rice. Surprisingly, neither the beans or rice were seasoned at all. I found that strange for a restaurant, but also welcome. I added a little bit of salt and it tasted perfectly fine. A bit bland, but i’d rather it be that way then overly salty, oily or spicy. It actually tasted healthy! The enchilada and chimichanga were fine. Nothing overly exciting, but perfectly edible. The butternut squash could have been roasted slightly longer as there were some pieces which were undercooked. The drinks were so unbelievably gluggable that I had to prevent myself from sucking it down the straw in one go. I’m not sure there was any alcohol in them though, as i’m a lightweight and can usually feel the effects of one drink, but didn’t. But the quacamole. Oh the guacamole. I really love a good guacamole, and this was not one of them. It was horrid. I’m not sure there was even any avocado in it. It was green, yes, but the green part was liquid, and the small pot was stuffed instead with chunks of who knows what – onion? Tomato? I really couldn’t tell. It was crunchy and weird and pretty disappointing. I made sure I picked up an avocado the next day and made my own as I had a craving left unfulfilled.
Overall, it was all just okay. I can’t say either of us were impressed or overly disappointed. It was very middle of the road. The bill came to just under £20 for the two mains and two drinks (and £.70 for the inedible guac). The service was good and friendly, and the atmosphere was nice, but a bit noisy.
40-41 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1JD