A group of us went to enjoy the Latin food, expecting the menu from when we last were in town - but found the menu to have less options. Still looked Spanish but when we enquired about why the menu had less dishes (that are pricier than before) were informed "this is French cuisine". Sure enough, the menu says this is California French. However, the name outside is Mateo's Cocina Latina. Add to that, they serve sangria, nachos and guacamole, and other Spanish sounding dishes, and nothing resembling anything French, we were intrigued! So, we stayed to try it out. Several of us order the nightly fish special. Others ordered the steak. ALL of us were very disappointed and were unable to finish the meal -- especially the potatoes. How can one place ruin 3 kinds of potatoes? All of which sounded and looked great on paper but were inedible. The roast potatoes appetizer was served with a grey sauce and the potatoes themselves had texture as though boiled than briefly flash fried. The sauce was ugly and did not improve the dish. None of us enjoyed it. Several of us tried a cod dish served with a poached egg on mashed potato with blue cheese. Sounded intriguing! Fish was smaller than the egg under it, and was overwhelmed with seasoning so the taste of the fish was not apparent. The potatoes tasted like vomit. We all agreed they were horrific. Several others tried the steak which was served with mashed potatoes - this time with black olives. Another taste and visual disaster - they arrived as a grey pile, they tasted awful and the hungry diners left them on their plate. We also tried the guacamole - which had olive oil in, per the menu description, and was way overly oily in taste and texture. Also too many onions for my taste buds (could still taste them the next day). The sangria is only served by the glass but is pretty good. We were very underwhelmed by all aspects of our experience, especially the waiter's insistence that "Chef Mateo is serving French cuisine". This place needs to decide what it is and stick to it. If it's Latin food you want, head to Agave. If French, head to the many good restaurants around the plaza. If you want to try some really weird potatoes and pay a lot for food that is quite foul, this is your place. Sorry, I need to be honest but this was the worst dining experience in years - we all agreed.
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