Atmosphere is one of the number one reasons I like to dine out. Whether is a romantic dinner for two of a gathering of friends it is the location and atmosphere which makes the event so special.
Hacienda by the Lake is located on the Lake of Mission Viejo. The outside dinning area has spectacular views and is comfortable on a winter night. It is enclosed with heaters and I mean enclosed not just by various curtains strong up to make it warm but actual stucco and windows.
The menu is supposed to be upscale Mexican with a California twist. The restaurant is 8,000 square feet with large bar area which has live music but only on certain nights they have not gotten the live music schedule down yet. The next live performance is on January 24, 2014, and as of yet no other performances for the month of January. The hours of operation are also a little strange. They only stay open till 11:00 pm on Saturday night.
Enchiladas de Langosta is stuffed with lobster, pasilla peppers, onion, and tomato and smothered in their own Hacienda sauce. The Lobster was cooked to perfection which I was surprised as it is so easy to overcook. The Hacienda sauce was too light it definitely needed more because it was really the star of the dish. It was sweet with just a kick of spice. I could have eaten a bowl of it.
Camarones a la Diablo is one of the restaurants specialties. Shrimp simmered in a spicy red sauce. To be honest the shrimp were better seasoned and prepared than the one I had in Cancun which where overcooked. The sauce again was spectacular. Very spicy full of flavor that just dissolved in my mouth. My senses were all a tingle. However, once again for the price there should have been more shrimp I counted 5. The dish was served with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans. I would have paired it with rice and grilled vegetables. This dish deserved more California flare then to be coupled with the old stand by rice and beans.
The location is fabulous the prices are high. The food was tasty but over priced and I just cannot see paying that much for meal that leaves you still hungry. Unless of course you want to fill up on the carbs (rice and beans) which are waste of calories if you ask me. This place rates 2.5 forks because it does need some work. However, I do see promise and hopefully by the summer time it will work out its kinks.
Hacienda on the Lake
27792 Vista Del Lago
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
Mission Viejo, CA 92692