By virtually all measures El Catrin should have a five star rating - the food was excellent, the service solid, the ambiance chic and welcoming and a decently priced wine list. However, I could only justify a four star rating because of one thing - the speed at which our dishes were served. Let me explain.
Our waiter was fabulous at explaining the menu, suggesting dishes and even the amount we should order (he was bang on with respect to the latter). As the dishes are served tapas style (coming out in random order to be shared by all table mates) we expected them to nonetheless be evenly paced to allow for an enjoyable dining experience. We did start with the guacamole which is quite good (it could be a littler spicier) but we were barely done when our dishes started to arrive. No sooner was the first one put down that the four other dishes arrived in rapid succession. In less than twelve minutes all showed up and we were done within 35 minutes (didn't want them to get cold!). It's fair to say that this greatly diminished what was an excellent meal.
My suggestion - order the guacamole (or some other appetizers) when you place your drink order. Hold off ordering the rest of the dishes until after your appetizers have been consumed. While they may still arrive quickly at least you will have created a little breathing space.
As to the food, we didn't have one disappointing dish. Our favourites were the crab fritters (four small pieces), mexican style chorizo, barbacoa tacos and scallops. Keep in mind that the small bites are just that so if you're hungry you'll want to make sure your order primarily from the Especialidades de la Casa side of the menu.
Grab a table outside if you can (be forewarned that if you make a reservation on Open Table it will be for an indoor table, not the spacious outdoor patio).
And, yes, I would come back and I would order the classic margarita again as well.
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