La Penca Azul on Park – Alameda

This is a place we’ve been to many times and have tried a wide variety of dishes. Overall we think the food is above average at average prices and there are enough gems on the menu that put it as a go-to place. The service is good, the cocktails are done well and the place is large enough that you aren’t stranded in a line for very long.

It is a family restaurant so it can be chaotic and noisy. There is a smaller side piece in the back, with a separate entrance which is an alternative to the chaos. The patio is really an after thought and not very pleasant.

The gems we think are worth mentioning are:

  • The beer battered fish tacos – very complex and tasty
  • The Pescado – a whole fried fish that is perfectly crisp and not greasy and
  • The mole, guacamole, burritos, carnitas – are all well executed.

The only dish we ever had that was not one to recommend was their “bowls”. We tried them when they first introduced them. The rice and the chicken were very dry and overall the dish was flavorless. That may have improved but we haven’t tried any since.

La Penca Azul, 1440 Park St., Alameda, CA.