Horrible service--FANTASTIC food.
My best friend and I laugh our heads off over this restaurant. It has just about the slowest and worst service imaginable and to add insult to injury not only is the food sometimes cold by the time they finally get around to bringing it to you but sometimes they even get our orders wrong--and yet we keep going back!
Why would we knowingly keep subjecting ourselves to such rotten treatment for nearly 20 years? Because they have the very best Mexican food we have ever eaten!!! In fact on many occasions when they have brought me the wrong order--and sometimes cold to boot-- I just go ahead and eat it because waiting for them to get me the correct order would take way too long plus even a wrong order at Olamendi's is so darned good I just can't resist it.
I have never had a bad meal there--no matter what they end up putting in front of me. Even the rice and beans they put on the side are delicious--and as a rule I hate rice and beans and never eat them in other Mexican restaurants.
They have been open for years and years and have always been known for rotten service but since their food is so darned delicious they get away with it.
If you go expect lousy service but also expect one of the best darned Mexican meals you've ever eaten.--no matter what you might end up with lol : ) !!!
I wish they had different ratings for service and for food but since they don't I am forced to give them 5 stars because their food is SO FANTASTIC it actually outweighs their lousy service!!!
Tourist Trap !!!.
Please note that I had to rate this as ONE STAR just to have my review published. My intent was a negative two stars, but that is not possible on CitySearch.
The service was less than decent and the food was served lukewarm to cold. It obviously sat on a counter waiting to be picked up by the seemingly aloof and careless wait staff. When I mentioned it was cold my "waitress" immediately lost her ability to understand English. I am certain that I was insulted in Spanish because the waitress was pointing at my table and speaking to the other worker bees in Spanish and laughing.
The restaurant is ill-equipped to handle the number of patrons it is able to seat. There is only ONE Small bathroom, and it is a 40 yard walk OUTSIDE !!! I had to walk out the front door and around the side of the building to a small outside bathroom near the garbage dumpsters. It appeared that this 5 feet by 3 feet bathroom handled both the workers and patrons !!! After my journey to the bathroom, and waiting in line out back by the dumpsters, I seemed to have lost my appetite.
I was under the impression that there are certain building codes that must be adhered to for a restaurant license, and having a single small unisex toilet for 50 to 75 people seems like a stretch to me. The single small bathroom was smaller than any Starbucks Bathroom I have been in. And most Starbucks have two bathrooms yet are one tenth the size of Olamendi's.
Perhaps management might think about re-investing some of their profits back into the business and install some real restrooms !!! And possibly keep them clean as well. Some of these reviews speak about how much the management cares about its patrons, yet after 2 or 3 decades they still have no real bathrooms?? What is with that? And what is with the Orange County Department of Health for allowing this to exist?
It was simply not good authentic Mexican food. Actually it was just plain NOT GOOD !!! And served by a wait staff who were rude and non-caring, and downright ignorant.
This is one customer who will never be back.
ZERO STAR Rating !!!!.
Dateline: SUNDAY 17/MAY/2009 10:00 AM (I waited outside in my car for the place to open)
This morning I made the mistake of listening to a few locals who raved about Olamendi's in Dan Point. The service was deplorable- over 40 minutes to deliver a simple breakfast plate. The prices closely resembled an upscale New York City hotel menu. The coffee had numerous black floating objects that looked on first inspection to be b ugs, but I have convinced myself that they were indeed grounds.
I was served a basket of chips and salsa before I was even presented with a menu. I didn't order the chips and salsa, nor did I request the two following refills of the same. However, when the check arrived (after an additional 3 requests and 15 minute delay) there was a $9.00 charge (plus tax) for 3 baskets of chips and salsa. I would hardly call it a "basket" since I could count all of the chips on my fingers without even using my toes.
The food was NOT, I repeat NOT a "HUGE" serving. The reviews below mentioning "Huge Servings" obviously don't distinguish between plate size and food content. The plates are over-sized YES, but the food contained on the plate was less than what you would get for $3 from Carl's Jr. on the dollar menu.
EVERY Entree on the brunch menu was $11.50, whether I wanted a simple egg or an omelet. I ordered the Olamendi's slop fare (can't remember the actual name but the word Olamendi's was part of the description). The eggs were totally overcooked and dry beyond belief. And the enclosed onions and veggies were undercooked. Keep in mind that this is after a 40 minute wait in a non busy restaurant, and after 3 rounds of chips and salsa. When my meal was served I requested the sour cream that was part of the meal description, but little did I know that I would be charged an additional $2.00 (plus tax) for what I thought was already supposed to be on my plate.
The final bill, for 2 simple breakfast entrees and a single cup of crappy cinnamon flavored coffee in a Mexican Hole in the Wall came to $43 before tip. I found this to be outrageous. It was fake Mexican food and in no way resembled anything near a decent Mexican breakfast. Denny's, Coco's, McDonald's, Carl's Jr., and most roadside taco stands all serve far better food at less than 1/3 of the price of Olamende's! And with very little wait time.
If I was of Mexican decent I would probably find the decor to be appalling, a mix of Mexican trailer trash with a heavy dose of Night of the Dead. Kind of what you would expect to see in a place you'd never patronize in Tijuana.
There is also a prominently displayed picture of Tricky Dicky (Richard Nixon) and dated Summer of 1974. Apparently the owners are clueless and don't know that is the same timeframe when Tricky Dicky was disgraced and had to resign from the Presidential Office (for also screwing the American people) !!!
If you like to be bent over and be screwed by Mexican gangsters, I would highly recommend this place.
In retrospect I wish I read the overwhelmingly negative reviews on Google Maps, Citysearch, and Yelp before patronizing this "joint".
authentic...mexican food!!!!! the cheff's choice!!!. ok my husband and i just spent a weekend in orange county in dana point. we were staying at the ritz , and were in need of great Mexican food, and they told us about Olamendis. My husband and I are both cheffs and i are very very ypicky about the quality and taste of our food. We showed up on a friday nuight (which was very busy) . All i have to say is that we found what we were looking for :). This place had to be one of the MOST AUTHENTIC ..AND BEST MEXICAN foods i have ever tasted!!!!!. And as a cheff, i have not only cook but eaten at many mexican places.I would highly recommend the mole poblano, and carnitas.we also had the pozole and albondigas, which were tasty. I tried their OC margarita and it was great....it did leave me with a strong buzz though :)Not only were the decorations loud but the ambiance was amazing. Our waitress was very friendly although we taunted her with thousands of questions. everything was fresh and the quality of meat was great. My only complain was that it was too hot in there. HOWEVER, WE CANNOT WAIT TO RETURN :)...i do recommend this place as the CHEFF'S CHOICE!!!!!!
I recently went to this restaurant and was extremely disappointed. I don't know if things have changed since some of the previous reviews, but overall our service and food was terrible. The food was very bland-- there was not enough salt on the table to enhance the flavor. The red sauce tasted like spaghetti sauce, the chicken tasted like it hadn't been seasoned or properly cooked, the guacamole was no good, the chips were stale and hard, and the margaritas tasted like perfume.
While some of the food came out quickly, some of our meals were forgotten. The server had to have everything re-cooked because she had forgotten to even place the order, although she immediately tried to blame it on the "food runner". When we finally asked about the missing food (very politely), she was completely put-off and defensive. After that, the entire meal went downhill. She began talking about us in Spanish to other employees (even though we had already told her we understood and spoke Spanish). She made us feel very uncomfortable and unwelcome. After knowing she had completely ruined the meal, she had the nerve to ask us if we were going to leave her a tip! I have never been in a restaurant where someone felt that was necessary or even appropriate!! To top if off, as we left the restaurant, she again made snide comments about us to other employees (again in Spanish).
If you want to be insulted, and eat bad food, I would DEFINITELY recommend this restaurant!
Bland Food. My family and I went to this place for dinner the other night and we were not impressed. The staff forgot to bring a meal to one of us and we had to look for our waitress to get it. The guacomole was very bland and the chips were stale. In fact most of the food was bland and there was rocks in the beans (they were not properly rinsed). The waitress and other staff assumed that we did not speak spanish (we all did) and spoke about us. Then the waitress came to the table before we were ready to leave to make sure she was going to get her tip. It was very rude and we will never go back to this place.
Best Mexican Food Ever. I am a local who LOVES this place. The food is excellent, the service is friendly, and the setting is so special...I feel like I'm at the beach and at the museum at the same time. Yeah, there can be crowds--but I'm never dissapointed! Try the chile rellenos and margaritas!
Don't believe the hype. I live in San Clemente and have driven past this restaurant many times. It always looked attractive from the outside and, from the size of the lines, I figured the food would be great. What a disappointment. It took them literally 2 hours to bring my wife and I a bowl of meatball soup and two taco combo platter. Even by Mexican food standards both were extremely greasy (greasy soup?!) and totally pedestrian. If you live in So. Cal, throw a rock and you're bound to strike a taco stand with better food and service. Leave this one for the tourists.
The BEST of the Olamendi Restaurants!. The food is VERY good, although mine has been a bit luke warm at times. Our server has always been willing to return it to the kitchen for warming, but it seems that only the plate becomes hot! A+++ for effort! Servers are very pleasant and accomodating, just perhaps understaffed the last couple times we were there. The food is quite delicious... I order extra just to take home for lunch the next day. Highly recommended!
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