We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very good, but with a few quirks” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Luna Maya

Luna Maya
Colley Ave. at 21st St., Norfolk, VA 23517-1912
(757) 622-6986
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #33 of 600 restaurants in Norfolk
Price range: $15 - $20
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Washington DC
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Very good, but with a few quirks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2010

I went to Luna Maya based on the strong reviews here. I found it to be very good, but with a few quirks that kept it from being great, in my opinion.

La Luna is in a strip mall a block south of the Ghent District's main east-west road (21st St). When you walk in, there are curtains that separate a small waiting area from the main dining room. The waiting room has framed reviews about the restaurant and its owners, two young sisters from a Bolivian family. The atmosphere is much trendier than that of other Latin American restaurants I've been to: orange and yellow acrylic-topped tables and curved, molded plastic designer chairs. A stylish bar with a backlit display of tequilas and beers takes up much of one side of the restaurant. The music was a European dance mix, with a loud but not oppressive beat. The lighting was dim, and the waitstaff were all dressed in black.

There was no greeter or "please seat yourself" indication in the little waiting area, so I walked into the dining room to be noticed. The waiter who saw me seemed a bit irked at my not waiting in the anteroom, but he seated me promptly. My server was prompt, helpful, and very friendly.

I had a margarita, which was very tasty, but served in a tumbler with a straw rather than a more traditional 'grita glass, which was a little odd. The guacamole was freshly made, and served in a stylish white three-compartment serving dish with chips and salsa. However, it was very sparse on the lime juice and seasonings, so tasted more like plain chopped avocado rather than a true guac. The salsa was unremarkable, and was smooth, not chunky. For the main course I had the pastel de choclo, which is a corn casserole with chicken chorizo topped with cheese. It was quite yummy, although it came out so hot (temperature, not spicy) that I had to stir it for several minutes before I could eat it . It was paired with seasoned rice, which made for a combination (corn & rice) that felt a little heavy on the starches. For dessert I had a tasty and well-executed flan. The bill was quite reasonable, at $25 for the food and $9 for the top-shelf margarita.

On the whole it was a pleasant experience. It could have been improved with a more pleasant greeting, a more effective margarita glass, a less scorching temperature for the main course, and a better protein-starch balance in the main/side dish combo.

That being said, I will definitely go back, and will probably have the pique lo macho (Bolivian beef filet) and the tres leches cake for dessert. If anyone has those, please review and comment! Thanks.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

99 reviews from our community

78% Recommend
    52
    26
    8
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norfolk, Virginia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely one of the best South American cuisines I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Fresh guacamole, traditional...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2009

Absolutely one of the best South American cuisines I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Fresh guacamole, traditional tamales and more. Try the corn cassoral you'll love it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“BEST RESTAURANT IN NORFOLK”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2009

I travel a lot...and this is the only restaurant in Norfolk that has world class food. Do not go if you want a fancy or expensive place nor is is expensive. Luna Maya is is a favorite Neighbourhood place much loved by the locals and not a tourist trap like all the places on Granby. It is the only place that you could see do well in Soho, or in Condesa in Mexico City or in the Marais in Paris. It is a Neighbourhoody place, with fabulous homemade food that you will find nowhere else in the world. Yes you can find as fabulous Mexican in DF, DC, Texas, and even in NYC these days... but I have never seen the dishes here anywhere else. The "burritos" and "quesadilla" are totally something else and their House Specialties are unique. The corn casserole must be an old family recipe from a heavenly grandmother and whatever is in that margatini is perfection. Add to that the charming people, the good lighting, and music...and you will dine here every single day you are in town. Believe me...there is nowhere else to go. I also loved the mushroom quesadilla and the red chicken burrito.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
“Great mexican, cool setting...worthy of the positive ratings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2009

I was in town for work and looked to Trip Advisor to find a good Mexican restaurant in the area. Luna Maya was ranked the #2 restaurant (of all types) in Norfolk, so I decided to check it out. I went during the week and did not have to wait for a table. The atmosphere is different than any other Mexican restaurant that I've been in. Its a pretty trendy place, but not overly stuffy. The waitstaff was very friendly and polite. I had the chipotle chicken enchiladas ($12) and chips, salsa and guac ($7). The guacamole was great and seemed to be freshly made. I would definitely recommend this restaurant and plan on heading back if I am ever back in town.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Love "The" Luna”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2009

As far as I am concerned, Luna Maya is the best restaurant in Hampton Roads. Rated very highly by both local and national publications, we are very fortunate to have it here in Ghent. My friends and I have always been fans of Luna Maya and we continue to go there for many special occasions. The food is always fresh and delicious and a good value. The drinks are top notch and well proportioned. You definitely get your monies worth, no skimping here. Oh yeah, they have the best Mojitos that I have ever had, and I have traveled a lot. We have tried going to other places to try and spread the wealth but we always end up back at Luna Maya. The staff is always very professional and friendly. In fact, many of them have become friends over the years and it is almost like coming home when we walk through the doors. Luna Maya, don't change anything, you are perfect just the way you are!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Luna Maya also viewed

 

Been to Luna Maya? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Luna Maya, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.