Honestly, I was very turned off by this restaurant because of it's facade. From the street it can be confused as part of the Days Inn, and the idea of eating at a Days Inn didn't at all appeal to me. What eventually led me to try La Mancha was this very page! After searching online for a "good" (IE: something new, not a chain) restaurant in Fernandina Beach, and seeing a lot of very recent, very good reviews, I decided to look past the outside and give it a try with my husband and our six year old son. Lesson Learned: Don't judge a book by it's cover.
La Mancha is delightful! The service was impeccable--we had no less than four staff come up to us throughout the evening and ask if we were pleased. With that attention to detail, we weren't left wanting for anything. Even the head chef and owner spoke with us, and even if it was simply because the restaurant is very new and they were making rounds, I appreciated that customer service; it shows humbleness and if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a pretentious restaurant. The restaurant itself is very clean and presentable. Where the outside lacks a bit, the inside atmosphere is one where you feel at ease.
As far as the food goes, I have to say that it wasn't what sold me on La Mancha. Don't get me wrong--it was very yummy! The three of us shared the flash-fried calamari & oysters, lump crab meat meatballs, spicy Portuguese pork in a spicy curry sauce, flan, and Sangria.
The calamari/oysters were a HEAPING portion, and the three of us couldn't finish. The lump crab meatballs were okay (not wild about the texture), and I think they may be more enjoyable for someone who is a real crab-lover. I came to the conclusion while eating the meatballs that unless I'm cracking it straight from the claw, I'm just not into it.
The pork dish was my personal favorite. I appreciated it very much for the simple fact that it was different. I'd never had Portuguese food, so it was interesting to try, but what surprised me most was the curry sauce; so flavorful, and a really great weight. (Not too heavy).
The flan was delectable! The caramel top was a bit more on the creme brulee side of the spectrum (harder rather than soft), but it was lovely. ESPECIALLY the custard; I could taste a burst of vanilla, which is what made this such a treat for me!
Lastly, I enjoyed my Sangria (which just so happened to be a two-for-one deal, it was a Tuesday evening) very much. It was fresh AND refreshing. The fruit didn't look old/bruised, rather, it looked as if it was sliced specifically for my glass. It was a perfect pairing with our meal.
Overall, La Mancha was a very enjoyable dining experience. From the superior customer service to the relaxed atmosphere, and of course an interesting assortment of dishes to try, I was sold! I would absolutely go again, and was planning to... until our trip was cut short. Until we meet again, La Mancha...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.