La Zebra Cantina sounded like it was made to order—words such as "local" and "organic" always warm my Bay Area foodie soul, and what adult beverage consumer's heart wouldn't skip a beat upon reading about cocktails made with fresh pressed sugar cane juice from an antique hand crank?! And yes, the cocktails (and mocktails, for our under age and non drinking peeps) were sensational in composition and flavor. They were also, as mentioned in other reviews, surprisingly (and, um, cheaply) scant. As in really, reeeaally small. The woman who greeted us initially was sweet, as was one waiter who took over breifly when she disappeared on break. The other staff however, stared disdainly at us in the way that usually only happens to our post-hipster now living in the suburbs for the good schools family when we enter a new establishment in Oakland sans skinny jeans, chuck taylors, beanies, and copious body art. Okay, we may not have multiple piercings but we're not wearing Jimmy Buffet shirts & socks with tevas either, lighten up, dude! And the food...the food was awful. Awful! My dreams of tasty fish tacos and delicious beverages on the beach were dashed in the first bite. Luckily, the friendly initial server graciously said we could use the loungers even though we weren't guests of the cabanas since it was low season with minimal occupancy. The beach was so spectacular I would have eaten canned peas served by John Boehner to spend the day there so, it was 100% worth it. My husband and I spent our childhoods in the Philippines, have lived in Thailand and Hawaii and traveled extensively—we know our beaches. Tulum Beach is up there with the best we've been to, and it's worth the haughty attitude to grab a drink at La Zebra if they'll let you on the beach. But eat before you go and stick to the smoothies. I prefer to leave positive reviews and, everyone (and place) can have a bad day, possibly there was something going on that day that we couldn't know about to explain the disappointing reception and cuisine. As it was, food and attitude garnered one star, bonus star for the two friendly staff members and groovy jungle chic vibe, not enough stars out there for the beach but, this isn't a review of a beach!
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