After her book, Sex and the City, was reviewed by a famed New York Times critic, the Manolo obsessing Carrie Bradshaw posed a thought provoking question, “why do we believe our worst reviews?” And in today’s web 2.0 world of Yelp, Citysearch, Menupages, and Zagat, reviews matter more than ever. But why should a bad review of a restaurant from a complete stranger overrule our sneaking curiosity that only seems to build with every passing? Is it possible that these non-critics are just too critical? This past Saturday, for my friend Rebecca’s 23rd birthday, we disregarded the bad reviews of the restaurant Tortilla Heights, and ended up having a wildly enjoyable dining experience.
Located on the corner of Divisadero and Bush in lower Pacific Heights, Tortilla Heights, is a Mexican restaurant whose sizzle isn’t only found in the fajitas. “The fajitas were damn good!” Said Rebecca. “And they went well with the delicious margaritas.” The “delicious margaritas” which rated an 8.6 out of 10 on Citysearch, are made out of the over 50 different types of tequila that Tortilla Heights carries. But don’t be fooled into thinking tequila is confined to the bustling bar, shot glasses are gathered on each dinning room table, and when the waitress first came to serve our party she was quick to alert us of the special, four dollar tequila shots. Triggering a flashback of the debauchery that is spring break in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where shots are shoved down your throat by whistle bearing waiters, I was relieved to see our waitress simply set the shots down on the table (I, of course, stuck with water).
Tequila (and water) weren’t the only things going down smooth at Tortilla Heights. My friends were happily and rapidly consuming tex-mex styles of quesadillas, taco salads, and enchiladas that caused my friend Josh to say, with his mouth crammed full, “this is so good!” With good food, good friends, and good fun, the Tikki themed Tortilla Heights set the tone for the rest of the night. “The atmosphere was full of people having fun and drinking, that put everyone in a good mood,” said my friend, Jennifer.
So, despite the two and a half star rating on Yelp or a review titled, “bad food, expensive, horrible service and management” on Citysearch, we thoroughly enjoyed our time spent at Tortilla Heights, the ideal place for a group party. Therefore you can’t always believe a bad review. Besides, where else are you going to find a birthday bowl of vanilla ice cream served with a side of tequila?