Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com


Nominated for Best Latin American 20 Comments

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The go-to spot for Mexican grub in Dubai, the standard of cuisine at Loca is unwaveringly high, and served in surroundings that are promisingly understated rather than inspired by Disney. In the company of the regulars propping up the rustically-stylish bar are diners who scarcely head elsewhere to eat out – and you can hardly blame them. Here, you can expect to savour real spices and flavour, beyond the omnipresent ‘queso’, with good quality, fresh ingredients. Carnivores will be rewarded by opting for the generously-stuffed burritos, while a mouth-wateringly smoky aroma hails the arrival of a sizzling stack of pleasingly moist fajitas. One small downside is that the lighting is almost as muted as the deep brown hues of the decor, so you may struggle to read the menu, but this is just a niggle in what is otherwise one of your best bets for Mexican cuisine in the city.
Open daily noon-3am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Road, www.dxbmarine.com (04 346 1111).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Ryan Gringo on 06 Feb ' 13 at 10:20
  • Best for: Business lunch

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Great food and atmosphere, but as is typical in Dubai, the service provided by the imported labor is subpar at best. So long as you are patient and don't mind someone with only half of a brain waiting on you, then you should definitely check this place out. Loca is without a doubt the best Mexican Food in the Middle East.

Posted by: JANE on 28 Mar ' 12 at 07:58
  • Best for: Brunch served


Posted by: Heather on 12 Mar ' 12 at 09:38

I really like Loca. I wouldn't call it authentic Mexican, but if you want something close (with a cocktail) without a day on a plane it fits the bill. I was a little disappointed to see that they no longer bring the obligatory chips and salsa unless you ask and then you do pay for them. Unexpected but not a deal-breaker.

I had a grilled dish and found it to be a little greasier than I expected since I was aiming for healthy, but pretty good for Mexican. My companion had a huge shrimp burrito smothered in cheese sauce - too heavy for me but he said it was amazing and he was full and happy.

The drinks are a bit steep - some of the margaritas are up to AED 75. You can get beer out of a tap right at your table in the bar area, so would be fun for a group. The place was really busy around 10pm on a Thursday - it seemed like it was a combination of people settling in with beer to watch soccer on the TV screens around the bar and groups having a late dinner before hitting Boudoir.

Overall, great atmosphere, decent food and the prices were OK, just be careful with the drinks if you are pinching fils. A nice plus is that this place is in the entertainer fine dining book and I do believe the City Card works here as well, so there is value to be found.

Posted by: Jason on 13 Jul ' 11 at 18:11

These reviews are crazy. How in the world is Chili's considered Mexican (Tex-Mex)? I guess in this neck of the woods people do not know any better. Being from Houston, Texas, I've had my share of Tex-Mex in all of it's different shapes and forms. First of all, Tex-Mex and Mexican food are not the same. If Loca served authentic Mexican food, it wouldn't be open. Forget all that; just crazy how such a cool place is actually compared to a freakin' Chili's. Chili's is terrible food.

Anyhow, in all the years I have been traveling through Dubai and spending time here, this is hands down best Tex-Mex in Dubai. I'd like to think I've tried most of them, if not all. Cool decor, laid back vibe, and great food. I just returned from Loca and will be going back tomorrow with friends. I actually like the fact it doesn't follow the cookie cutter Tex-Mex theme that all the other restaurants try to pass off. I get enough of that at home. The Nachos de la Casa could have used a bit more cheese, but the ingredients and flavor were delicious. Exactly what I look for when in the mood for this type of food. And it was fresh. Can always tell when food is fresh or if it's from CHILI'S. Seems the place has developed quite a following and I bet will continue to grow. Great place, great simple menu with FRESH ingredients and nice touch. The owner or chef knows what they are doing and obviously appreciate great tasting food and presentation. This place would do very well at home and I wish we had one. Anyone who likes flavor in their food and a few drinks will enjoy this place.

Posted by: ryan Trutch on 28 Jun ' 11 at 10:51
  • Best for: Business lunch

I frequent LOCA at least 3 or 4 times a month and think its a great place..

Problem is the bar staff are useless at keeping tabs on everyone's bar tab!!! You have been warned!! I have put more than 3000 dhs in the till for stuff which i didn't order over the last 6 months..

Posted by: putri ekasari on 19 May ' 11 at 16:47
  • Best for: Family friendly

The food, ambience, and decor were very good. We just had a very bad experience of the service. Staff was unrespectfully asking ID of one of us. We understand that it is the rule, but the way he ask for it is really unrespectful and rude.

Posted by: Victoria toledo on 30 Mar ' 11 at 19:02
  • Best for: Brunch served

Posted by: Victoria toledo on 30 Mar ' 11 at 19:02
  • Best for: Brunch served

Posted by: Hanna on 18 Mar ' 11 at 18:42
  • Best for: Romantic

Nice restaurant and best Mexican food in town (probably the best in the Middle East). Small portion plates but very delicious.
Prices are a bit over the top, but it was worth it.

Service is very good.
Music is nice but has nothing to do with the Mexican ambiance.

Would definitely go again with family, friends, and for business.

Posted by: San on 24 Oct ' 10 at 07:56
  • Best for: Family friendly

It was my first time and i LOVED it, so eager to visit Loca again.

Posted by: Mike on 19 Oct ' 10 at 08:57

Service is good but small portions and not a single side dish or complimentary appetiser. Staggeringly expensive wine list - the cheapest at Dh220 and very average quality!

Posted by: Elizabeth on 06 Aug ' 10 at 10:03
  • Best for: Family friendly

So far the best REAL Mexican food I have had in Dubai.
Positive waiter, good music, in general- Yes. I can recommend, even being quite picky!!!!!

Posted by: gupta on 29 Jul ' 10 at 09:15
  • Best for: Family friendly

Posted by: elisa on 16 May ' 10 at 23:34
  • Best for: Family friendly

i just cannot conceive the idea that some people here give their reviews comparing chilli`s as a best mexican restaurant!!??Chilli´s is not even mexican!!!!! is very hard to cook authentic mexican food as many ingredients are almost imposible to get outside...I´ve eaten in many mexican restaurants from Dubai,Abu Dhabi and other countries as well......i can say I NEVER EAT BETTER MEXICAN FOOD OUTSIDE MEXICO THAN IN LOCA!!!!!!!!!!!! if u want a real taste of mexican gastronomie go to loca!! the best place in dubai!! great food,nice drinks and they make the "real mexican" beer!!!!

Posted by: Ashley Rio on 09 Mar ' 10 at 00:27
  • Best for: Family friendly

I love to read reviews on this page, how can you compare a place like Loca with Chillies....... I suggest you get outa the 90´s and get up to date.

Loca is a great place, great decor, food and service. I will be going back and suggesting it to my friends. I hope it does well in the Time out awards!

Well done Loca.

Posted by: baquer on 10 Jan ' 10 at 13:57

a great restaurant!

Posted by: nitin on 18 Dec ' 09 at 19:12

Decor is good and so is the service. However, the food served was very raw in taste (as compared to mexican food in Chillies). The portions were too small, not a all value for money. The food did not have any accomplishments that usually come with Mexican food.

Posted by: ken on 17 Nov ' 09 at 10:01
  • Best for: Family friendly

good place but no more free chips & salsa on the table if u ask it will be charged, same chef better food, portions bit small, good service,

Posted by: Gloria on 12 Nov ' 09 at 17:59

Posted by: Lincoln Gomes on 27 Oct ' 09 at 11:43
  • Best for: Family friendly

The best place in town where you want to be,Family OR Friends treat them all at LOCA for the experience that you will get in LOCA and no where else in Dubai.
Fantastic ambience,pour your on beer and A class service from the waiting staff to the barmen to the floor supervisor and the excellent sevice from the Outlet Manager
And to all the people who love to enjoy a good meal with a fantastic pint of beer be there at LOCA start your weekend there,during the weekdays perfect to take your clients/customers for a perfect treat.

LOCA simply amazing


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