I was looking for a casual Mexican place the other day. My wife had been craving Mexican since she had been out of town and so we were trying to find someplace new. She had heard of this place on Long Point behind Ikea. Yes, behind Ikea.
First, looking for Mexican food for me is a little challenging. Only authentic Mexican will do. I have worked in Houston kitchens all my life so I have grown up on real Mexican and Latin food. Eating what the cooks are eating. So, all the chains and Tex-Mex places are out.
Second, I am a service nut. I like to go places where the servers care about your experience and take pride in their job. I want to dine. I want to feel welcome. Unfortunately, many of the small places in town, Mexican or otherwise, miss that part altogether.
I googled a bit and found Otilia's on Long Point. This must be the place, I thought.
We have been twice. Once on Friday as a couple and once on a Saturday with the kids and a friend of theirs. Both times the staff were very friendly and quick with a greeting. The restaurant is clean with a nice large patio for sitting and sipping. The place is busy and well trafficked without being bustling or crowded. The restrooms were clean on both visits. We were thanked by busboys and other servers as we left.
The food was very tasty from the salsa to the Huevos ala Mexicana to Chile Rellano. The shrimp in the cocktail (weekends only) were slightly overcooked, but the sauce was good. The poblano soup is better than the tortilla. House Maragarita's were light and would be great in summer.
The service runs slow (both floor and kitchen) when the place gets busy. They seem a bit understaffed, but you will not feel forgotten or marooned. Once they get you first drinks out, they find a rhythm and the flow is nice.
The patio is quite comfortable. If you sit inside, I suggest sitting in the front dining room along the left wall, if you can, as the back seems a bit sterile.
Overall, I like this place. Good, authentic Mexican food with friendly, attentive people. That is win-win.