La Sandia

La Sandia, web site, Tysons Corner Center, Level 1, McLean, VA, by Barnes and Noble at the end opposite Bloomingdales (in blue on mall map), 703-893-2222

The new Rick Sandoval place, it opened in May of 2008. I went during the first week and thought it was clearly the best Mexican place around. Sandoval places don’t stay great for long, so now is the time to go.

It’s traditional Mexican rather than fusion but genuine and with high quality ingredients. The tortillas are excellent as is the guacamole and the queso fundido; make sure you use the sauce on the latter, and in a tortilla. I liked the chile relleno, the skirt steak tacos, and especially the carnitas. The chicken tamale was disappointing. The prices are entirely reasonable and in fact cheaper than the other restaurants in that lower level Tysons area. The existence of this place makes me very happy. Beware the crowds, however, at peak times it is very hard to get in here and they don’t take traditional reservations.

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