Isalita is the sister Mexican restaurant to its neighbor, Mani Osteria. So it was on my “MUST VISIT” list, because I had to see if it would do for Mexican what Mani did for Italian. The answer is, noooot quite. It’s gotten some great reviews and I had some delicious flavors, but there were a few issues. I know I repeat the “happy hour” instruction often, but I find that it’s a MUST in Isalita. They have happy hour specials of the day that include discounted guacamole and cheap tacos on other days. If I go back, it will be on cheap taco day. Because these little guys are way too rich for my blood. And I DO mean little. I ordered a fried fish taco, and it was a tiny finger-sized fish stick on a tortilla with some quite delicious pickled add-ons, but a fish stick all the same. The Al Pastor was a phenomenal, sticky, seared piece of pork belly (but still small). It was a standout on an otherwise “alright” meal. Their truffled guacamole was a win! But it was $10. We also ordered a margarita and a craft pop. Our small but filling meal would have come to around $45 if the waiter hadn’t accidentally served my gluten-free friend a very gluten-filled flour tortilla, claiming it was corn. She ate some before she realized, and the restaurant bent over backwards to apologize. Our waiter told us he’d pay for the meal. That’s right, the whole meal. Only in Ann Arbor, where gluten allergies are had (or claimed) by at least 50% of the population. We weren’t mad, but we were happy about not overpaying for a tasty but too small Mexican meal. Expect loud noise, cramped seating and a terrible date atmosphere. Not a lot of charm here- it feels like a college frat party in an expensive location. Try it out- but read their specials on the website before planning!
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.