Dinner at La Brisa and Tequila Shots (or not)

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Zung and I walk to La Brisa. We are greeted by Oscar, the manager or mâitre d’. I’m not sure what his title is. He tells us that at La Brisa you have to do a tequila shot, and if you make a face when you do it, you have to do two. I say, no way. He recognizes that he shouldn’t try to mess with me.

Zung says sure. He makes a face, but Oscar does not make him do a second shot. Oscar is holding the Sangrita chaser.


We are seated. Our server is David. Oscar tells us that he is the best server. I believe it because the service is flawless.

Suzanne and John are there also. It is John’s birthday and they bring him a cake.

There is a mariachi band. We order wine. They bring us an amuse bouche. I get some ceviche from the appetizer buffet.


The Mexican restaurant is set up a little different from the other ala carte restaurants. There are appetizers that you can order off the menu, but there is a buffet of ceviche, salad, chips, sauces and guacamole. We have ordered the chicken lime soup. It is yummy.


Zung has ordered the Caribbean lobster. It is yummy.


I have ordered the chicken molé. It is, you guessed it, yummy. It is so tender and the sauce is delicious.


We are having a really lovely dinner experience. It is making us forget all about our lunch fail. There is still more food to enjoy though!

Dessert is delicious. One of us gets the dish that is similar to a creme brulee.


The other one of us got the guava souffle with churro. I remember churros from Disneyland and Sea World. They were a favorite. Although, I would never go to Sea World now. Not. Ever. Again. I’m reformed after watching Blackfish.


Anyway, I digress. I have a habit of doing that, don’t I? I am a little ADD.

What was I talking about? Oh right, our fantastic dinner at La Brisa. The food was great, the service was stellar and they even had a mariachi band. Did I just repeat myself?

I wish they had live music in all the restaurants.

Oscar comes to check on us. When we leave, Raphael is there and we tell him how wonderful dinner was and that the service was excellent. As we walk back to the lobby bar we pass Wilmer, the manager of La Brisa and he says he heard we had a bad experience at lunch, and he asks how dinner was. We tell him dinner was wonderful and I tell him that Angel at lunch really took good care of us.

I know that part of the reason that we had such an amazing experience at dinner was because I had shared with Raphael about our lunch experience. I read on Facebook or Trip Advisor sometimes about how people are disappointed in their experience at the Grand. I always encourage them to seek out management and tell them. Sometimes I get the response that they don’t want to have to spend time on their vacation doing that, that it should be right without saying anything. And I agree. It should be right. But it won’t be ALL the time. Management wants to know when they are not meeting people’s expectations. They want to make it right when they fall short. However, they will not be able to do that if they do not know. Tell them! I have experienced less than stellar experiences at many high-end hotels and restaurants. With the exception of one restaurant (which shall remain nameless), I have always seen that the feedback I shared made a difference and they made a gesture to make up for the disappointing experience. And if things are just wonderful, share that with them too!

Oh yea, that restaurant that didn’t even acknowledge my feedback? We never returned. The restaurant industry is too competitive to spend my money at a place that doesn’t care if their customers are happy, and getting what they paid for.

Digressed again!

We continued on to the Lobby Bar. We see “the crew” (Janette, Ian, Suzanne and John), and sit down with them. John order tequila shots for everyone. I whisper to the waitress to bring me a chocolate cake shot. John notices though. Tune in tomorrow for that transgression’s payback.

When the crew leaves we go to the bar and hang out with Daniel. He makes me a cucumber martini.




Kenneth is there, and his friend Patrick recognizes me from my blog.(Picture of him later). Rock star moment!

It is chocolate cake shot time.


Here is a step by step tutorial on how to do a chocolate cake shot.

Shoot the shot (it has a sugar rim).

IMG_1248 IMG_1250 IMG_1251 Bite into the lime, which has also been dipped in sugar.


IMG_1253 IMG_1254 IMG_1255

Repeat. The number of times I repeated is confidential.

We made our way back to our room. All in all, it had been a good day. The had been ups, mostly, and one down. The overall feeling was that this was a very good first full day in paradise.

And tomorrow we would move to our new room. And I would do things I swore I’d never do.

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7 Responses to Dinner at La Brisa and Tequila Shots (or not)

  1. Nik says:

    Wow, got name dropped twice in one trip report 🙂 It was nice meeting you and Zung in person rather than just online.

    I agree with you that the mole at the Mexican was delicious, the only thing I’ve had there I wasn’t keen on was the lamb mixote and that was an issue with not understanding what it was before I ordered it – lesson learned next time ask when unsure what a dish is.

  2. Candy says:

    I am so excited about the report on the Mexican restaurant. It will be our first time eating there on our next trip. I think I will also need a chocolate cake shot.

  3. Monica says:

    Kudos to Zung for taking the shot. I can’t do tequila shots. The chocolate cake shot sounds right for me.

  4. Patrice says:

    I’m happy they have a Mexican restaurant now. I really enjoyed it when I was last there. Regarding the service, I often feel uncomfortable complaining in person. It’s so much less awkward to send an email or fill out a survey after returning home than dealing with it while there…but it’s nice to see they made corrections for you. You are kind of an all star there though so I’d be curious to know if us normal folk would get special treatment.

    • shoediva50 says:

      Patrice – I get what you’re saying about it not always being comfortable providing feedback when things aren’t right. It’s gotten easier as I’ve gotten older. I don’t know that I would have sought out a manage to complain about one disappointing meal. However since I was talking to Raphael anyway, it was a lot easier. I know they want that kind of feedback. And he mentioned, during another conversation, that someone who had never stayed there before had complained about things and he said they really go out of their way if someone says something isn’t right, to make that guest happy.

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