The first floor of Azul Mexican Rooftop Bar and Grill, 1116 Moro St., is like being at a beachfront restaurant, but one at a Wildcat beach. Strings of blue lights line the restaurant and illuminate the wavy, metal sheet underneath the bar. Purple walls and a signed basketball next to one of the televisions make sure the university is not far from thought.
Tall tables and chairs and booths are available with paper-covered tabletops. Patrons are encouraged to draw on the paper while waiting for their food. Our table only had one black crayon for two to share. The other tables had similar basic colors, like brown and sand, so we didn’t feel much incentive to go snag them.
The first time I tried to go, Azul was closed. It was during the restaurant’s posted hours of operation, but the doors were locked and the closed sign displayed. Nothing on social media gave any indication that Azul should have been closed for lunch. I checked several times between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., hours designated for lunch, but it was never open.
When we went the second time for dinner, we walked in and a man behind the bar told us to sit anywhere. After a few minutes, a different waiter brought us menus. The menu not only had typos, it was also a bit confusing. There were banners that said lunch and dinner above certain items, but it was not clear if we had to order from the designated sections or if was just encouraged.
The service was fine but a little slow. Our waiter was friendly and periodically checked in to make sure we were still doing OK.
This restaurant is different than most Mexican restaurants I’ve been to because chips and salsa are not free. It is $3 for a bowl of each.
It was 20 minutes before my companion and I received our two dinners. We ordered the enchilada dinner, consisting of three enchiladas in house “souce” along with rice and refried beans, as well as the stuffed avocado with identical sides. When we received them, the meals were on hot plates, but the food was lukewarm. By the time I got to the third enchilada, it was soggy and cold all the way through.
The stuffed avocado was good; it was cheesy and overflowing with toppings. The rice and beans did not add much to either meal, as they were not seasoned, and both had similar texture. The enchilada dinner was $9, while the stuffed avocado was $11.
Overall, the lack of professionalism was evident. Giving no reason for being closed during regular business hours, not caring about typos in the menu and slow service were not inviting aspects for a return visit.