Foreign Flavors in your own backyard: La Sandia stumbles serving tasteless, pricey Mexican dishes

With a lavish interior coupled with soft, conversational acoustics, we had high hopes for La Sand?a, a Mexican restaurant in Tysons Corner Center. However, as soon as we received our appetizer, our experience at the restaurant went downhill. Following a series of disappointing entrees, we had no interest in even considering to brave through the dessert menu. As kind as the servers may have been, and as elegant and appealing the food looked, the food simply did not meet even our initial expectations.

Upon entering the bistro, our waiter followed with a basket of complementary tortilla chips and salsa. Soaked in grease and heavily salted, the chips were huge let-down.

After serving the chips, the waiter provided plenty of recommendations for appetizers. We settled on the Chicken Tamales, pulled chicken encased in cornmeal and doused with a slightly sweet, yet savory sauce. Drizzled with cr?me fresh and garnished with slices of avocado, the presentation was masterful. Unfortunately, the lush presentation and the sauce were a fa?ade disguising the true flavor, tasteless.

After sampling the appetizer, we found a big surprise lurking at the bottom of the dish. Embedded in the corn husk at the bottom of the bowl was a stringy, greasy black hair. After such a repulsive experience, we were hoping that our entrees would redeem our overall opinion of the restaurant.

The restaurant provided a few vegetarian options for entrees, including its classic Chile Relleno and Cheese Enchiladas. The Relleno featured a green bell pepper, stuffed with various vegetables in a tasty chile chipotle sauce. Its fried coating, however, bumped down the dish to 10 out of 10 on the unhealthiness scale.

Stuffed with Mexican cheeses in tortillas and smothered in green queso (cheese) sauce, the Cheese Enchiladas did not fair much better. While the presentation was phenomenal, the cheese had a rubbery quality to it, along with a sour flavor. Like the cheese, the queso sauce had an odd sour taste.

One common Mexican food on the menu were tacos. Served with refried beans and Mexican rice, the beans were oddly sweet, as if the chef attempted to put an interesting twist on them.

The Mexican rice served with the tacos had no distinct spices and was flavorless. The steak tacos followed in suit with the rest of the meal. Hardly warm and lacking flavor, the combination of steak and onions wrapped in chewy, flour tortillas was undesirable and a waste of $14.

As if tasting horrible was not enough, the price for the quality of the food was abominable. Every dish on the menu was at least $7.50.

If La Sand?a were to revamp their menu and lower prices, they may have a chance at success. Until then, we won?t be paying a visit to this Mexican mess anytime soon. Compared to other Mexican restaurants in the area, La Sand?a clearly loses by more than a hair.